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Full text of "Colonial Pipeline rupture : hearing before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, May 18, 1993"

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COLONIAL PIPEUNE RUPTURE 

(103-20) 

Y 4. P 96/11:103-20 

Colonial Pipeline Rupture, (103-20)... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 

PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



MAY 18, 1993 



Printed for the use of the 
Committee on Public Works and Transportation 




COLONIAL PIPEUNE RUPTURE 



(103-20) 



HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 

PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED TfflRD CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



MAY 18, 1993 



Printed for the use of the 
Committee on Public Works and Transportation 




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
71-703 WASHINGTON : 1993 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-041564-0 



COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 



NORMAN Y. MINETA, California, Chair 



JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota 

NICK JOE RAHALL II, West Virginia 

DOUGLAS APPLEGATE, Ohio 

RON DE LUGO, Virgin Islands 

ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania 

TIM VALENTINE, North Carolina 

WILLIAM 0. LIPINSKI. Illinois 

ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia 

JAMES A TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio 

PETER A DeFAZIO, Oregon 

JIMMY HAYES, Louisiana 

BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee 

JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois 

MIKE PARKER, Mississippi 

GREG LAUGHLIN, Texas 

PETE GEREN, Texas 

GEORGE E. SANGMEISTER, Illinois 

GLENN POSHARD, Illinois 

DICK SWETT, New Hampshire 

BUD CRAMER, Alabama 

BARBARA-ROSE COLLINS, Michigan 

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of 

Columbia 
LUCIEN E. BLACKWELL, Pennsylvania 
JERROLD NADLER, New York 
SAM COPPERSMITH, Arizona 
LESLIE L. BYRNE, Virginia 
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington 
PAT (Patsy Ann) DANNER, Missouri 
KAREN SHEPHARD, Utah 
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey 
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina 
CORRINE BROWN, Florida 
NATHAN DEAL, Georgia 
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan 
DAN HAMBURG, California 
BOB FILNER, California 
WALTER R. TUCKER, California 
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas 



BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania 
WILLIAM F. CLINGER Jr., Pennsylvania 
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin 
SHERWOOD BOEHLERT, New York 
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma 
BELL EMERSON, Missouri 
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee 
SUSAN MOLINARI, New York 
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire 
THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois 
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland 
JENNIFER B. DUNN, Washington 
TIM HUTCHINSON, Arkansas 
WILLUM P. BAKER, California 
MICHAEL A. "Mac" COLLINS, Georgia 
JAY KIM, California 
DAVID A LEVY, New York 
STEPHEN HORN, California 
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey 
PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts 
HOWARD P. "Buck" McKEON, Califoroia 
JOHN L. MICA Florida 
PETER HOEKSTRA, Michigan 
JACK QUINN, New York 



SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 



BARBARA-ROSE COLLINS, Michigan 

Vice Chair 
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia 
LUCIEN E. BLACKWELL, Pennsylvania 
LESLIE L. BYRNE, "STirginia 
JAMES A BARCIA, Michigan 
BOB FILNER, California 
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas 
(Vacancy) 
(Vacancy) 
NORMAN Y. MINETA California 

(Ex Officio) 



ROBERT A BORSKI, Pennsylvania, Chair 

JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma 
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee 
SUSAN MOLINARI, New York 
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire 
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland 
WILLIAM P. BAKER, California 
BUD SHUSTR, Pennsylvania 
(Ex Officio) 



(ID 



CONTENTS 



Page 
Summary of Subject Matter V 

TESTIMONY 

Brinkley, Donald R., Chief Executive Officer, Colonial Pipeline Co., accom- 
panied by Victor A. Yarborough, director of engineering. Colonial Pipeline 
Co., and Harold R. Melendy, senior manager of the Eastern Division, Colo- 
nial Pipeline Co 75 

Buttleman, Keith J., Deputy Director, public and intergovernmental affairs, 
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality 103 

Davis, Thomas M., Ill, chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 103 

DeNoyer, John M., Ph.D., Councilman, town of Hemdon, VA, and chairman, 
Fairfax County Environmental Advisory Coimcil 103 

Garegnani, Jerry J., Chairman, Friends of Sugarland Run 103 

Hart, Christopher A., Member, National Transportation Safety Board, accom- 
panied by Larry Jackson, Acting Chief, Pipeline Division, National Trans- 
portation Safety Board 27 

McMurray, Rose A., Acting Administrator, Research and Special Programs 
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, accompanied by George 
W. Tenley, Associate Administrator, Office of Pipeline Safety, U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation 37 

Li, Allen, Associate Director, Transportation Issues, Resources, Community, 
and Economic Development Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, ac- 
companied by Barry Kime, senior evaluator, and Dr. Manohar Singh, con- 
sultant engineer 67 

Luftig, Stephen, Deputy Director, Office of Emergency and Remedial Re- 
sponse, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accompanied by Alfred 
Lindsey, Director, Office of Environmental Engineering and Technology 
Demonstration, and Dennis Carney, Chief, Region III Superfimd Removal 
Branch 22 

Rackleff, Robert B., President, Friends of Lloyd, Lloyd, FL 117 

Schwartz, Dr. Stuart S., Director, Interstate Commission for the Potomac 
River Basin, Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations, accom- 
panied by John Corless, Washington Surburban Sanitary Commission, 
Perry Costas, Chief, Washington Aqueduct Division, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, and Jim Warfield, Fairfax County Water Authority 117 

Wolf, Hon. Frank R., a Representative in Congress from Virginia 19 

PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS 

Blackwell, Hon. Lucien E., of Pennsylvania 7 

Mineta, Hon. Norman Y., of California 3 

PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES 

Brinkley, Donald R 217 

Buttleman, Keith J 230 

Davis, Thomas M., Ill 235 

DeNoyer, John M., Ph.D 241 

Garegnani, Jerry J 247 

Hart, Christopher A 249 

McMurray, Rose A 257 

Li, Allen 270 

Luftig, Stephen !.!!!!!!!!!!.! 291 

(III) 



/ IV 

Page 

Rackleflf, Robert B 306 

Schwartz, Dr. Stuart S 327 

Wolf, Hon. Frank R 345 

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RECORD 

Brinkley, Donald R., Chief Executive Officer, Colonial Pipeline Co.: 

Supplement to testimony regarding the training of Colonial Pipeline Co.'s 

oitch and back hoe operators 84 

Responses to post-heanng questions 98 

Buttleman, Keitli J., Deputy Director, pubUc and intergovernmental affairs, 
Virginia Department of Environmental QuaUty, responses to post-hearing 

questions 114 

Davis, Thomas M., Ill, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, letter 

supplementing testimony 112 

Hart, Christopher A., Member, National Transportation Safety Board, re- 
sponses to post-hearing questions 37 

Li, Allen, Associate Director, Transportation Issues, Resources, Community, 
and Economic Development Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, re- 
sponses to post-hearing questions 72 

McMurray, Rose A., Acting Administrator, Research and Special Programs 
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, responses to post-hear- 
ing questions 44 

Rackleff, Robert, President, Friends of Lloyd, Lloyd, FL: 

News articles 125 

Responses to post-hearing questions 159 

ADDITIONS TO THE RECORD 

Berlage, Hon. Derick P., Chairman, Environmental PoUcy Committee, Metro- 
politan Washington Council of Governments, statement 350 

Cole, Norman M., MPR Associates, Inc., engineers, letter with attachments .... 357 

Jonas, EA., P.E., letters to J.A. Cox, Colonial Pipeline Co 368 

Morin, Fred C, Chairman, Fairfax County Water Authority, letter 370 

Stutzman, H. Garon, statement 373 



•uDSMutm. w 



FROM: 
RE: 



H.^. House of llqn-efinnatities 

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS 
AND TRANSPORTATION 

SUITE 2186 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING 

WASHINGTON. DC 205 IB 

(202) 226-4472 



May 17. 1993 -«o«»«-r^ 

Members of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

Committee's Investigations and Oversight Staff 

SUMMARY OF SUBJECT MATTER for Investigations and Oversight 
hearing on the Colonial Pipeline Rupture of March 28. 1993, and an 
assessment of the adequacy of existing pipeline safety regulations, especially 
current pipeline inspection practices. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, 
May 18. 1993. at LOO pjn.. in Room 22S3. Raybum House Office Building. 



Background of the Spill 

On Sunday. March 28. 1993, at 8:48 ajn., a pressurized thirty-six inch diameter 
petroleum product pipeline owned and operated by Colonial Pipeline Company ruptured 
near Hemdon, Virginia. The rupture created a geyser which sprayed diesel fuel over 
seventy-five feet into the air, coating overhead powerlines and adjacent trees, and misting 
the adjacent Virginia Electric Power Company buildings. The diesel fuel spewed out of 
the ruptured line into an adjacent storm water management pond and flowed overland 
and through a network of storm sewer pipes before reaching Sugarland Run Creek, a 
tributary of the Potomac River. From this point, Sugarland Run flows north for 
approximately seven miles before emptying into the Potomac River. See attachment L 

The pipeline rupture occurred in a section of the pipeline that runs underneath the 
rear parking lot of Reston Hospital Center. The depth to the pipe is approximately ten 
feet below grade. The western edge of the parkii^ lot is constructed over the top of four 
parallel utility easements of varying widths. The utility easements contain two liquid 
petroleum product lines-a thirty-two inch as well as the ruptured thirty-six inch line, 
which are owned and operated by Colonial Pipeline Company: one twenty-inch diameter 



(V) 



VI 



liquid gas line owned and operated by the Columbia Pipeline Company; and a forty-eight 
inch Fairfax County Water Authority water main. In addition, a Virginia Electric Power 
Company easement with overhead electrical lines runs parallel to the underground lines 
just beyond the parking lot The fact that these utility lines are located so dose together 
may be significant, because the fact that damage has occurred to one of these lines 
increases the possibility that damage may have been also sustained by the other lines. See 
attachments 

The pipeline stretches from Texas to New Jersey, alternately transporting diesel 
fuel, jet fuel, and gasoline. The thirty-six inch diameter pipeline transports over 
thirty-two million gallons of diesel fuel each day, supplying up to twelve percent of the 
nation's daily diesel fuel consumption. The pipeline was laid in 1980 and is considered a 
relatively young pipeline in the pipeline industry. 

According to Colonial Pipeline officials, the rupture caused a dramatic drop in 
pipeline pressure, which in turn set off an automatic hydraulic alarm located in the 
manned Dorsey Junction. Maryland, station approximately 35 miles from the rupture site. 
Within minutes. Colonial personnel in the Atlanta, Georgia, control center began the 
process of shutting off the flow of fuel by closing the remote valves along the pipeline. 
By 8:55 aon. the entire line from Greensboro Junction. North Carolina through Dorsey 
Junction. Maryland, was shut down. 

The rupture occurred approximately ten miles downstream from the remote valve 
located at the Chantilly pumping station and 35 miles upstream from the remote valve 
located at the Dorsey Junction pumping station. A manually operated block valve located 
approximately five miles downstream from the site of the rupture, near the Potomac 
River, was closed approximately ninety minutes following the rupture. 

The Fairfax County Hre and Rescue Team arrived at the rupture site around 9M 
ajn.. confirmed the location of the discharge, and immediately attempted containment 
efforts. These eff orU were hampered by high, swift waters and four to twelve mile per 



vn 



hour winds, causing Fairfax County to request State and Federal assistance. Initial 
estimates of the amount of the spill varied widely, hampering early assessments of the 
magnitude of the accident and the emergency response effort. 

At approximately 1(H)4 ajn., the National Response Center was notified. The 
National Response Center is the primary federal point of contact for reporting all oil. 
chemical, biological, and etiological (disease causing) discharges into the environment 
anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. By 10:10 ajn. the Regional Response Center had 
been notified and by 2:00 p.m. the EPA On-Scene Coordinator and the EPA Technical 
Assistance Team had arrived at the site and assumed control of the emergency response 
effort from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Team. The U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic 
Strilce Team, downstream jurisdictions, and authorities whose water intake facilities are 
located along the Potomac River were also notified. 

Spill mitigation measures included the use of vacuum trucks and tankers, the 
construction of an underflow dam, and the deployment of oil skimmers and entrapment 
and sorbent booms; however, due to high water levels caused by seasonal rains, much of 
the oil escaped the booms and continued to flow quickly downstream. A special pump was 
lowered by a Marine Corps helicopter to the marshy site where Sugarland Run joins the 
Potomac. At approximately 8K)0 p.m. on Sunday night, the leading edge of the oil sheen 
was reported to have reached the Potomac River. 

As the fuel oil spill neared the Potomac River, the Fairfax County Water 
Authority was forced to shut down the Corbalis water intake facility which is located on 
the Potomac River, approximately 200 yards downstream from Sugarland Run. The 
facility remained dosed for twelve days, was opened briefly, and then quickly redoaed 
after a storm flushed lingering traces of oil from Sugarland Run into the Potomac River. 
The Corbalis plant was reopened the following day and is being continuously monitored at 
this time. The Fairfax County Water Authority provides water for over 900.000 people. 

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which supplies water to both 



vin 



Prince George's and Montgomery counties, draws water from the Potomac River at a site 
located about four miles downstream from the Corbalis facility. The District of Columtna 
and Arlington County water supply is drawn from a facility located on the Potomac River 
near Great Falls, downstream from Sugarland Run. Fortunately, these facilities were not 
affected and remained open with continuous monitoring following the spilL 

The Fairfax County Health Department issued a recommendation to the public to 
avoid the Sugarland Run area due to the noxious fumes associated with the oiL Strong 
fumes were reported as far south as Alexandria, Virginia, several days after the rupture. 
Forty-one residents of Loudoun County voluntarily fled their homes, and nearby County, 
State, and National parkland was restricted from public use. 

Throughout the episode, the residents of Reston, Hemdon, and Fairfax were 
actively involved in the response and cleanup effort. Residents of the Sugarland Run 
Creek area were very vocal in expressing their concerns over the health hazards created 
by the spill, including noxious fumes, polluted soils and water, and the effect on the area's 
wildlife. Concerns were also raised over the potential for contamination of ground water 
and private well systems. Property owners with homes located adjacent to Sugarland Run 
were particularly concerned with the spill's effect on reducing property values. A legal 
effort mounted by several local citizens, to prevent Colonial from reopening the pipeline 
until after the cause of the rupture was determined, failed when a federal court judge 
ruled in favor of the pipeline company. 

Investigation and Remediation 

On March 29, 1993. the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examined the 
ruptured pipe. The NTSB is responsible for investigating, determining the probable cause 
of, making safety recommendations on. and reporting the facts and circumstances of all 
pipeline accidents which result in a fatality or in substantial property damage. The initial 
examination at the site indicated that the rupture was located near the top of the pipe, 



rx 



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and was longitudinal, extending approximately forty-two inches. NTSB ordered that an 
additional 700-foot section of the pipe be excavated and the outside cleaned and inspected. 
The inspection revealed several longitudinal gouges, probably caused by mechanical 
damage, as well as a six-inch fatigue crack and two dents. 

On March 31. 1993, an eighteen-foot section of the pipe containing the rupture and 
associated damage marks was saw cut removed and transported to the NTSB lab for 
metallurgical testing. On April 1. 1993. an additional eighteen-inch long section of the pipe 
was removed and sent to NTSB. The section contained a large depression which was 
originally located on the bottom of the pipe, approximately thirty feet north of the 
pipeline rupture. Further evaluation by NTSB of the removed sections of pipeline may 
reveal additional information useful in determining the source of the damage to the 
ruptured pipeline. 

Repairs to the pipeline were made and the pipeline was allowed to resume 
operation on April 4, 1993. under a Hazardous Facility Order issued by the Department of 
Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety. The Office of Pipeline Safety, which is under 
the Research and Special Programs Administration of the Department of Transportation, 
is responsible for the implementation of the national program of pipeline regulation, 
enforcement, training, and research. The Hazardous Facility Order was issued for the 
segment of pipe between Chantilly. Virginia, and Dorscy Junction, Maryland. The Office 
of Pipeline Safety had inspected both the thirty-two inch and the thirty-six inch pipelines 
on March 1, 1993, just four weeks before the rupture occurred: no violations were issued. 

The Hazardous Facility Order allows Colonial to continue to operate the pipeline at 
fifty percent of the maximum operating pressure. Additionally, the company was 
required to submit a plan by midnight. Monday, April 12. 1993, for an inspection of the 
line from Chantilly, Virginia, to Dorsey Junction, Maryland, using an instrumented 
internal inspection device, otherwise known as a "smart pig". 

On April 2, 1993, the EPA issued Colonial Pipeline Company a Unilateral 



Administrative Order to protect 'Public Health and Welfare and the Environment.' In 
issuing this order, the EPA directed Colonial Pipeline Company 'to study, abate, mitigate, 
and eliminate such threats from oil and hazardous substances that may exist to the public 
health, welfare, and/or the environment at and around the site.* Under this order the 
EPA assumed responsibility to direct Colonial's response effort and required Colonial to 
submit a Response Action Plan specifying a long-term monitoring and cleanup plan for 
restoration of the damaged areas. The plan requires a public hearing and weekly reports 
to the EPA outlining the cleanup and restoration effort progress. 

On Monday. April 5. 1993. Colonial Pipeline Company excavated an area 
surrounding their thirty-two inch diameter pipeline to inspect two small dents in the line, 
also suspected to have been caused by mechanical damage. The thirty-two inch line runs 
parallel to the ruptured line, approximately fifty feet away. The company knew about 
the existence of the dents after inspecting the pipeline several years earlier with a smart 
pig. After discovering the dents and evaluating the data generated by the smart pig 
inspection, the company decided that the dents did not affect the overall structural 
integrity of the pipeline. 

At the time of this writing, all containment booms have been removed, and the 
spill remediation effort continues as Colonial Pipeline Company employees, 
environmental cleanup personnel contracted by Colonial. EPA representatives, and State 
and local officials remain on site to oversee the cleanup effort. EPA officials are in the 
process of evaluating soil decontamination methods; including bioremediation. for use on 
the contaminated banks of Sugarland Run, the area where the oil flowed overland, and 
the stockpiled soil removed from around the rupture site. Bioremediation is an iimovative 
technology in whidi microorganisms are introduced into contaminated soil. The 
microorganisms use the contaminants for food, breaking them down typically into carbon 
dioxide and water. 

According to NTSB officials, the current estimate (as of May 4, 1993) of the total 



XI 



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amount of diesel fuel spilled is 412.000 gallons, with 3SS.446 gallons of fuel recovered. In 
addition, 4,073 gallons of contaminated water were coUected. 

rnlnni'al Pipeline Company 

Colonial Pipeline Company was incorporated in 1962 with representatives from 
nine major oil companies. The name Colonial was chosen because the proposed pipeline 
was to pass through nine of the original thirteen colonies between Texas and New York. 
According to company records. Colonial's original 2.853 mile system from Houston. Texas, 
to the New Jersey/New York Harbor, was at the time the largest privately financed 
American construction project ever attempted. The entire system now includes over 5,315 
miles, and has become the world's largest-volume refined petroleum products pipeline 
system. According to Colonial, the company transports more barrels of refined petroleum 
products more miles than any other pipeline in the world, including the Trans-Alaska 
Pipeline System. The company transports on the average 77.811.712 gallons of petroleum 
products per day. 

Colonial Pipeline Company began construction of their system during the 1960's. 
During this period it was common practice to transport pipe using flatbed rail cars. The 
vibration caused by the motion of the train created stress in the pipe which over time 
became fractures, and eventually caused sections of the pipeline to fail. This type of 
pipeline failure has become known as railroad fatigue. Colonial has had three failures on 
the thirty-two inch pipeline in Virginia which were the result of railroad fatigue. 

According to spill reporting records kept by RSPA. Colonial Pipeline Company 
reported fifty-one spills between October, 1985, and February. 1993. The spills ranged in 
size from one to 13,100 barrels. Of the fifty-one spills reported, seven occurred in the 
state of Virginia. Of those seven spills, four were the result of mechanical damage caused 
t^ a third party, one resulted from a rock under a pipe, one was due to a failed pipe, and 
one was due to a valve stem leak. Including the March 28, 1993 spill, four of the eight 



y 



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largest spills reported nationwide occurred in Virginia. 

Fairfax County. State of Virginia, and Federal agencies have described Colonial's 
response to the incident as aggressive and fully cooperative. 

Statutory Authority 

Pipelines are a major means of transporting petroleum products. According to the 
Annual Report on Pipeline Safety published by DOT for calendar year 1991. there are 
approximately L7 million miles of natural gas pipelines and 152,300 miles of hazardous 
liquid pipelines under Federal regulatory authority. 

The pipeline safety program is administered by the Research and Special Programs 
Administration OlSPA) of the Department of Transportation. The Natural Gas Pipeline 
Safety Act of 1968, as amended (49 U.S.C. app. 1671 cl seflX regulates gas pipelines, and 
the Hazardous Liquid Safety Act of 1979, as amended (49 U.S.C. app. 2001 el SfiH-). 
regulates hazardous liquid pipelines. The most common hazardous liquid transported is 
oiL Both AcU regulate interstate and intrastate pipeline transportation; however, states 
may impose more stringent regulations over intrastate pipelines. 

The federal government is primarily responsible for developing, issuing, and 
enforcing minimum safety standards for interstate and intrastate pipelines. Pursuant to 
an agreement with RSPA. a state agency may participate in all or part of the enforcement 
of safety regulations for intrastate pipelines. The DOT may also permit a state to act as 
its agent and inspect interstate pipelines traversing the state, the Department is then 
responsible for taking appropriate enforcement action. Participating states are 
reimbursed by the Federal Government for up to fifty percent of the costs of 
implementing the pipeline safety program. The state of Virginia does not participate in 
the Hazardous Liquid Program; however, it does participate in the intrastate Natural Gts 
Program. 

Under Section 7005 of the C:onsolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 



xin 



(Pub. L. 99-272. 49 U.S.C. App. Sec. 16S2a), the Secretary of Transportation assesses and 
collects annual fees from the pipeline industry to fund the cost of the pipeline safety 
program. The fees are based on pipeline mileage. 

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (also known as the Clean Water 
Act 33 U.S.C. 1321 eLseo) mandated the development of the National Oil and Hazardous 
Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. This plan was established for the purpose of 
creating a federal spill response mechanism to help meet the challenge of responding to 
spills into U.S. waters and the adjacent shorelines. The National Response Plan establishes 
three organizational levels-the National Response Team, Regional Response Teams, and 
Federal On-Scene Coordinators-and four special force components. 

This multi-level response plan combines federal, regional, state, and local resources 
and establishes an organizational framework in which these resources are readily 
accessible in the event of a spill. Over forty federal, state, and local agencies were 
involved in various aspects of the emergency response and clean-up effort associated with 
the Colonial pipeline rupture of March 28. 1993. 

The Oil PoUution Act (OPA) of 1990 (PI.. 101-380) amended section 311 of the 
Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify federal response authority and to expand 
oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities of the federal government and 
industry. The Colonial oil spill of March 28. 1993. was the first oil spill during which EPA 
used the new authority granted to it under the OPA to direct an emergency response 
effort 

The OPA also required that operators of pipelines and other facilities capable of 
causing oil pollution submit spill contingency plans for federal approval by the Office of 
Pipeline Safety. The statutory deadline for submission of these plans was February 18. 
1993. According to the Office of Pipeline Safety. Colonial Pipeline Company filed a spill 
contingency plan by the deadline. 

The Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Act of 1988 (PI.. 100-561) included several 



XIV 



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■gnifimnt requirements to improve pipeline af ety. Included was a requirement that the 
Secretary of Tranqwrtation establish minimum Federal standards requiring operators of 
both natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to provide information relating to 
the operation of the pipeline, such as emergency telephone numbers, maps showing the 
location of the pipelines, descriptions of all transported products, operations and 
maintenance manuals, an emergency response plan, and a pipeline inventory describing 
the type of pipe used and the material and leak history. The Office of Pipeline Safety 
intends to issue a rulemaking on this provision in the fall of 1993. 

The Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Act of 1988 also directed IX>T to prepare a 
feasibility study on requiring the use of internal inspection devices to inspect natural gas 
and hazardous liquid transmission lines and to establish regulations requiring that new 
and replacement pipelines be designed and constructed, to the extent practicable, so as to 
accommodate internal in^)ection devices. In November 1992, DOT issued the feasibility 
study which among its conclusions stated that 

* It is not feasible to require the inspection of gas transmission and hazardous 
liquid pipelines with an internal inspection device if the pipelines are not 
constructed so as to accommodate the device. 

* It may be feasible to ccmduct periodic inspections of hazardous liquid 
pipelines with an internal inspection device in highly populated areas, if the 
pipeline can aoooounodate the device and has launching traps. 

The Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 (PI> 102-508) is significant in that, for the first 
time, consideration was given to regulating pipelines so as to protect the environment, and 
increased attention was paid to pipelines running through high-density population areas. 
The Act required that all pipeline operators identify all pipeline facilities in high-density 



XV 



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areas and hazardous liquid pipelines that cross a navigable waterway or that are in areas 
deemed environmentally sensitive. The Act also revised the property damage threshold 
reporting requirements from SS.OOO to "an amount established by the Secretary." 

The additional regulations required by the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 will be 
promulgated by the Department of TransporUtion's Office of Pipeline Safety. The Act 
requires that forty-eight regulations be issued, four reports be made to Congress, and that 
three surveys and two studies be conducted. (See attachment 3.) 

Pipeline Inspection 

Pipeline corrosion is second only to third party mechanical damage in causing 
pipeline incidents. Regular pipeline inspection is essential to maintaining the structural 
integrity and safety of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities and requires the 
use of several technologies. These technologies include visual inspection, X-raying pipe 
welds, hydrostatic pressure, and the use of instrumented internal inspection devices, often 
referred to as 'smart pigs'. 

Visual inspection methods include excavating sections of pijxline suspected of 
corrosion and inspecting the condition of the external coatings. When external corrosion 
is observed then internal corrosion can be tested for by using a hand-held ultrasonic 
instrument This inspection technique is used most commonly on short segments of 
pipeline. Pipeline companies also routinely survey their pipelines both by air (using light 
planes and helicopters) and by land. These inspections can reveal dying vegetation, 
ground cavities and water bubbles, often indicative of a pipeline leak. Illegal construction 
activities occurring within the pipeline easement are also detected during aerial 
inspections. 

Hydrostatic testing provides information on the pressure integrity of the {ripeline 
by forcing water through the pipeline at a pressure equal to 125 percent or more of the 
pipeline's maximum operating pressure. Significant pipeline defects cause the pipeline to 



XVI 



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rupture during hydrostatic testing. 

Hydrostatic testing has several limitations. It does not provide information on the 
nature or extent of remaining oorrosion damage, and some experts believe that 
hydrostatic testing can weaken the pipeline. In addition, the pipeline must be removed 
from service during hydrostatic testing, and must be cleaned before and after the test 
with cleaning pigs. Also of some concern in some areas of the country is the cost and 
availability of the quantities of water required to conduct the test— and the proper 
disposal of the contaminated test water. 

Current regulations require pipeline operators to conduct hydrostatic testing of 
their lines prior to initial operation, following replacement of pipe, and when a company 
wishes to increase the volume of the transported fueL 

The use of internal in^)ection devices (smart pigs) b the only pipeline inspection 
technique that can detect internal and external corrosion without actual excavation of the 
fnfie. Smart pigs are also able to detect certain irregularities or anomalies in the pipeline 
wall, such as dents. The pig is inserted into the line and is propelled by the movement of 
the fluid inside. The device carries recording equipment enabling it to record the 
existence, location, and relative severity of the anomaly. Currently there are no federal 
regulations on the use and frequency of smart pig inspections. 

There are several different types of smart pigs in common use, including the 
magnetic-flux pig. caliper or geometry pig, and ultrasonic pig. The magnetic-flux pig is 
the most commonly used instrumented device. It is used primarily to detect loss of 
material in the inside or outside surface of the pipe and is useful in the detection of 
anomalies in the i»pe wall, such as gouges, local corrosion leading to corrosion pits, and 
general corrosion. 

Caliper or geometry pigs are the second most commonly used devices and are 
useful in detecting dents, buckles, and wrinkles. They are primarily used following 
construction of the {npeline to detect construction damage and are also used to determine 



xvn 



-13- 



whether the pipeline will accept a magnetic-flux or ultrasonic pig. The caliper pig has 
been available since 1971. and can be used in both natural gas and hazardous liquid lines. 
Many experts recommend that a baseline pig run be conducted prior to starting service in 
new lines. 

Ultrasonic pigs are capable of being used only in liquid pipelines although 
technology is underway to design an ultrasonic device that can be used in gas pipelines as 
welL Ultrasonic pigs have been useful in detecting losses in pipeline material and cracks. 

The current state of instrumented internal inspection device technology is not 
without limitations. Currently available smart pigs can not detect longitudinal cracks, 
locate potential pipe seam failure in electric-resistance-welded pipes, or detect metal loss 
in circumferential welds. They are also not readily available in sizes to fit all pipelines 
and are often unable to negotiate a pipe with sharp bends, which are common in older 
pipelines. Additionally, some pipelines have valves which do not permit the passage of the 
pig. 

Instrtimented internal inspection device technology is rapidly advancing. As the 
use of this technology increases and attracts more vendors, it is expected that devices will 
be available which will be able to overcome many of the current limitations. At the 
present time, however, hydrostatic testing combined with the use of smart pigs and 
traditional visual inspection techniques provides the highest level of safety. 

In September of 1992. the General Accounting Office issued a report entitled 
Natural Gas Pipelines: Greater Use of Instrumented Inspection Technologv Can Improve 
Safely (GAO/RCED-92-237). According to GAO, smart pigs have been used by pipeline 
companies since the 1960's, and cleaning pigs were used as early as 1890. In this report 
GAO provided an indepth analysis of the benefits and limitations of using smart pigs in 
pipeline inspections. Much of the information in the report is applicable to both natural 
gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. 



xvm 



-M- 



ISSlfi 

The Colonial Pipeline rupture of March 28, 1993, focuses attention on the issue of 
pipeline safety and raises a number of questions regarding whether the existing 
regulations are sufficient to ensure safe pipeline operation. The following list includes 
several of these issues: 

1. There are no federal requirements regulating the distance between or the 
type of shut-off valves used. In the March 28, 1993, spill, even though the 
flow of fuel was shut off uithin minutes of the rupture, over 412,000 gallons 
of fuel were spilled, because the rupture point was 10 miles downstream from 
the closest shut-off valve. 

2. A current regulation requires that shut-off valves be used on pipelines on 
both sides of watercrossings where the body of water is more than 100 feet 
wide. In most cases, these valves are manual shut-off valves which are often 
not quickly accessible. Since pipelines often cross streams and rivers less than 
100 feet wide that are tributaries of larger ^-aterbodies, it is not dear, given 
the new emphasis on protection of the environment, that this regulation 
provides sufficient protecti(xi. 

3. Statistics indicate that third party damage is the leading cause of pipeline 
failure, yet there is no federal regulation requiring states to participate in 
"One-Call" systems. 

4. Pipeline inspection using internal inspection devices is the only way (without 
excavation) to detect internal and external pipeline corrosion; the second 
leading cause of pipeline failure. There is currently no regulation requiring 



xrx 



-15- 



tbese in^xctkxu. 

5. There are no ttandards available oo whkfa pipeline operators can base 
decisions cm what action to take as a result of detecting, through smart ptg 
nins. pipeline defidencies and anomalies of any given d^ree of severity. 
Data interpretation u instead conducted by individual companies, based on 
individual experience. The lack of industry-wide standards can lead to the 
misinterpretation of internal inflection data and result in otherwise avoidable 
pipeline accidents. 

6. In passing the Pipeline Safety Acts of 1988 and 199Z Congress has continued 
to strengthen federal statutes in an effort to improve pipeline safety. The 
Office of Pipeline Safety faces a tremendous backlog of regulations required 
to fulfill the pipeline safety goals of Congress. It is not clear as to whether 
the federal resources dedicated to pipeline safety are adequate to cover the 
additional work required. 

7. Colcmial Pipeline has had four serious pipeline ^jills in Virginia since 1985. 
At question is to what extent Colonial's construction techniques, maintenance 
practices and inspection methods are contributing factors. 

8. The Colonial Pipeline ^nll was the first oil spill during which EPA exercised 
its authority under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act An examination of the overall 
re^xnse effort may provide useful insight in determining the adequacy of 
the legislation m addressing future emergency response efforts. 



XX 




Initial Spill Location 



ATTACHMENT 1 



XXI 



««»... lU.»t»T [T] 

fnncMJ las 




ATTACHMENT 2 



XXII 



FACT SHEET 
"THE PIPELINE SAFETY ACT OF 1992" 

The major provisions of th« Pipelin* Safety Act of 1992 are 
sunnarized as follows: 

o Adds environmental protection, in addition to need for pipeline 
safety, as a goal of Federal safety standards; 

o Requires all pipeline operators to identify pipeline facilities 
in high-density population areas, and in the case of hazardous 
liquid lines, areas deemed environmentally sensitive or those that 
cross a navigable waterway; 

o Requires periodic inspection of all pipelines and directs D.O.T. 
to prescribe the circumstances, if any, under which such 
inspections should be conducted with the use of a smart pig; If 
smart pigs are not required, an inspection method that is at least 
as effective, is required to be used; Also provides that D.O.T. 
can require an existing transmission facility to be modified (i.e. 
remove valves) to accommodate a smart pig, as long as its current 
basic construction would accommodate such a device; 

o Requires D.O.T. to issue regulations to prescribe circximstances, 
if any, where operators of natural gas distribution systems must 
install excess flow valves in new and renewed service lines; 
D.O.T. must issue a report to Congress on the reasons for any 
determination that EFV's would not be required in any circumstance; 
D.O.T. must issue regulations prescribing performance standards for 
EFV's; Operators of natural gas distribution systems must notify 
customers on new and renewed lines where an EFV could be installed, 
in accordance with the performance standards, of the availability 
of an EFV and install the device where the customer pays all costs 
associated with the installation; 

o Requires the appointment of two individuals with backgrounds in 
environmental protection to each Pipeline Safety Standards 
Committee and requires at least one member of each Committee to 
have no financial interest in pipeline, petroleum or natural gas 
industries; 

o Requires D.O.T. to issue minimiim operator training requirements 
for all pipeline operators and authorizes the Secretary to provide 
for self -certification by operators; 

o Requires D.O.T. to publish a notice as to the availability of 
the industry guidelines for the replacement of cast iron pipelines; 

o Expands inspection requirement for Gulf offshore pipeline 
facilities to all offshore pipelines and those in navigable 
waterways; 



ATTACHMENT 3 



XXIII 



-2- 



o Directs D.O.T. to define by regulation the tern "gathering line** 
and "regulated gathering line"; Exempts crude oil gathering lines 
of nominal diameter of six inches or less, operating at low 
pressure, and located in rural areas that are not unusually 
sensitive to environmental damage from definition of regulated 
gathering line; 

o Clarifies the Secretary's authority to regulate intrastate 
pipeline transportation to the extent that the certifying state is 
not adequately doing its job; 

o Raises the minimum civil penalty for a violation of the Acts 
from $10,000 to $25,000; 

o Gives state officials responsible for pipeline safety, notice 
and opportunity to comment on any agreement proposed to be entered 
into by the Secretary to resolve a proceeding; Comments of local 
officials may be incorporated; 

o Requires operators of natural gas distribution systems that do 
not maintain customer-owned service lines up to the building walls 
to advise their customers of the requirements for maintenance of 
those lines; Directs D.O.T. to conduct a comprehensive safety 
review to evaluate existing policies, procedures and rules with 
respect to customer-owned service lines, the extent that lack of 
maintenance of customer-owned service lines raises safety concerns, 
and make recommendations regarding maintenance of those lines, 
including any legislative and regulatory action; Requires D.O.T. 
to conduct a survey of owners of customer-owned service lines to 
determine the views as to whether distribution companies should 
assume responsibility for the operation and maintenance of 
customer-owned lines; After completion of the study and report to 
Congress, D.O.T., in cooperation with State and local authorities, 
shall take action, as appropriate, to promote adoption of measures 
that would improve the safety of customer-owned lines; 

o Ensures that only states which have certified pipeline programs 
can adopt different safety standards from the federal program; 

o Makes abandoned pipelines subject to the safety oversight of 
D.O.T.; D.O.T. must define what constitutes a hazard to navigation 
with respect to underwater abandoned pipeline facilities; 
Operators must report abandonments to D.O.T.; State officials must 
report to D.O.T. information on collisions between vessels and 
abandoned pipeline facilities; 

o Prohibits any exception from hazardous liquid pipeline safety 
regulations based solely on the fact that facility operates at low 
internal stress; 

o Requires D.O.T. to survey and assess the effectiveness of 
emergency flow restricting devices and issue rules prescribing 
circumstances under which operators of hazardous liquid pipeline 
facilities must install emergency flow restricting devices; 



xxrv 



-3- 



o Requires MTSB to investigat« and report on pipeline accidents 
that involve significant injury to the environment, in addition to 
the current requirenent to investigate pipeline accidents involving 
loss of life or substantial property damage; 

o Makes it a criminal violation of the Acts for an excavator to 
fail to call a one-call system or heed marking information and 
subsequently damages the facility causing death, serious bodily 
harm, actual damage to property over $50,000, or release of more 
than 50 barrels of product; Makes civil and criminal penalties 
apply to pipeline operators who fail to accurately mark facilities 
or fail to participate in a one-call system; Requires D.O.T. to 
notify OSHA of any pipeline accident in which an excavator may have 
violated OSHA regulations; 

o To the extent funds are provided in advance in appropriations 
acts, authorizes D.O.T. to hire twelve new additional pipeline 
safety inspectors; 

o Authorizes $500,000 for D.O.T. to carry out a research and 
development program on underground utility location technologies; 

o Authorizes D.O.T. to conduct a study of the abandonment of 
underwater pipeline facilities; 

o Authorizes appropriations for the pipeline safety programs for 
fiscal years 1992-1995; 

o Establishes the Research and Special Programs Administration as 
an agency within D.O.T. by statute (RSPA has existed by delegation 
of authority within D.O.T.); 

o Makes various technical amendments to the Hazardous Materials 
Transportation Act; 

o Provides for an exemption for certain rail-motor carrier 
mergers. 



COLONIAL PIPELINE RUPTURE 



TUESDAY, MAY 18, 1993 

House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, 
Committee on Public Works and Transportation, 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 1:20 p.m., in room 
2167, Raybum House Office Building, Hon. Robert A. Borski (chair- 
man of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Mr. Borski. The subcommittee will come to order. The sub- 
committee today will be examining the rupture of the Colonial Oil 
Pipeline which spilled 412,000 gallons of diesel into Sugarland Run 
and tiie Potomac River in Northern Virginia on March 28th. 

This unfortunate incident has caused considerable and justifiable 
concern and distress in Northern Virginia and I want to express 
my appreciation to the gentlewoman from Virginia, Ms. B3me, for 
bringing this matter to the attention of the subcommittee as quick- 
ly as she did. 

The issue before us is whether something could have been done 
to reduce the likelihood of this spill in an area that is both highly 
populated and environmentally sensitive. Was this spill inevitable 
or could it have been prevented through more frequent and more 
rigorous inspections and other precautions? 

Oil spills and environmental damage are the all too frequent 
price we pay for the conveniences and advances of modem society. 
We must reduce that environmental damage to the bare minimum 
through the concentrated use of the most advanced technology 
available to us and through constant vigilance. 

The question this subcommittee will attempt to answer today is 
whether the maximum precautions were taken in the case of the 
March 28th spill. It is important for us and for the people of North- 
em Virginia to find out what the Colonial Pipeline Company has 
done in the past to prevent this type of rupture and spill and what 
precautions are being taken to prevent it from happening again. 

It is also our job to look closely at the actions of the Federal reg- 
ulators. The Office of Pipeline Safety has a big job, overseeing nat- 
ural gas pipelines which extend 1.7 million miles and hazardous 
Uquid pipelines which cover 152,000 miles. 

Throughout its system, Colonial transports 77 miUion gallons of 
petroleum products each day. The vast majority is moved safely 
and without incident but when confronted with the significant and 
serious damage that can be caused by these hazardous substances, 
even a minor spill can be intolerable. 

(1) 



It was because of the extensive system of pipelines that Congress 
moved in 1988 and in 1992 to upgrade the safety requiremente. At 
the same time, however, the resources available to the Office of 
Pipeline Safety for its regulatory activities and the National Trans- 

Eortation Safety Board for its investigation of accidents have not 
een increased. 

The most troubling question of all is why with the attention that 
has been paid to pipeline safety and regulation during the last five 
years was no one able to detect the impending rupture of the Colo- 
nial Rpeline in Northern Virginia? 

With hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous liquids and bil- 
hons of cubic feet of natural gas moving through pipelines each 
day, it is essenti£d to find out if this is a case of faulty laws and 
regulations or faulty implementation. 

The Northern Virginia spill was the first use of the Unified Com- 
mand to direct the emergency response to oil spills that was en- 
acted in law after the Exxon Valdez spill. This hearing gives us an 
early opportunity to evaluate the workings of the unified command 
but our focus should be on preventing spills with the widespread 
damage that even small amoimts of petroleum can cause. 

Before we continue, I will place in the record statements received 
firom Hon. Norman Y. Mineta, Chair of the Committee on Public 
Works and Transportation, and Hon. Lucien E. Blackwell. 

{Statements referred to follow:] 



CHAIRMAN NORMAN Y. MINETA 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 

HEARING ON THE COLONIAL PIPELINE RUPTURE 

MAY 18, 1993 



I WANT TO THANK OUR NEW COLLEAGUE FROM THE 
IITH DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, LESLIE BYRNE, FOR 
ENCOURAGING THIS COMMITTEE TO LOOK INTO THE 
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE RUPTURE OF THE COLONIAL 
PIPELINE THAT TOOK PLACE IN HER DISTRICT ON MARCH 
28, 1993. I SAY THAT BECAUSE THIS SPILL BRINGS INTO 
SHARP RELIEF THE ISSUES OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL 
RISK THAT SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF OUR PIPELINE 
REGULATORY SYSTEM. 



NO LIVES WERE LOST AS A RESULT OF THIS SPILL, 
AND NO INJURIES OCCURRED, BUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL 
DAMAGE WAS MAJOR. OVER 50,000 GALLONS OF DIESEL 
OIL HAVE BEEN LOST INTO THE ENVIRONMENT, AND 
REMEDIATION OF DAMAGED SOILS WILL TAKE YEARS. 

THIS SPILL REMINDS US OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE 
AMENDMENTS WE MADE LAST YEAR TO THE PIPELINE 
SAFETY PROGRAM TO MAKE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE A 
MAJOR FOCUS OF THE PROGRAM. I LOOK FORWARD TO 
HEARING FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
HOW THEY PLAN TO IMPLEMENT THIS NEW FOCUS OF THE 
PROGRAM. 



CLEARLY, NOT ALL THE ANSWERS ARE IN ON THE 
CAUSES OF THIS SPILL. BUT SOME POTENTIAL CAUSES 
ARE CLEARLY APPARENT. THE NTSB METALLURGICAL 
REPORT POINTS CLEARLY TO MECHANICAL DAMAGE AS THE 
CAUSE OF THE RUPTURE. THE ONLY QUESTION IS, DID 
IT TAKE PLACE WHEN THE PIPELINE WAS LAID, OR DID IT 
OCCUR LATER? 

IF IT TOOK PLACE WHEN THE PIPELINE WAS LAID, WE 
CLEARLY NEED EITHER MORE STRINGENT CONSTRUCTION 
STANDARDS OR MORE STRINGENT ENFORCEMENT OF 
EXISTING STANDARDS. IF IT TOOK PLACE LATER. THEN 
WE NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON THE PROBLEM OF 
THIRD-PARTY DAMAGE THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN 
IMPLICATED AS THE CAUSE OF OTHER PIPELINE SPILLS. 
IN EITHER CASE, WE NEED TO LOOK AGAIN AT THE 
ADEQUACY OF OUR INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS, SINCE AN 
INTERNAL "SMART PIG" INSPECTION PROBABLY COULD HAVE 
DETECTED THE FLAW THAT CAUSED THIS PIPE TO BREAK. 



I LOOK FORWARD TO THE RESULTS OF THIS HEARING, 
AND I AM CONFIDENT THAT IT WILL BE ONE MORE STEP IN 
THE PROCESS OF IMPROVING THE SAFETY OF OUR PIPELINE 
SYSTEM AND REDUCING ITS ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL 
IMPACT. 



STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN LUCIEN E. BLACKWELL 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 

COLONIAL PIPELINE INCIDENT HEARING 

MAY 19, 1993 



Mr. Chairman, First, I wish to 
commend you and the 
gentlewoman from Virginia for 
bringing this crucial issue to the 
forefront of the Subcommittee 
agenda. 



An oil spill is perhaps one of 
the most environmentally tragic 
consequences of our everyday 
reliance on petroleum products. 
Nobody wants an oil spill, and 
when one occurs, we would all 
like to think that we have done 
everything in our power to prevent 
such a catastrophe. 



But the sad truth is Mr. 
Chairman, that oil spills do occur, 

Sometimes, as we all know, 
these spills are massively 
devastating. 



10 

Our recent memory of the 
1 989 grounding of the Exxon 
Valdez which resulted in a 35,000 
ton oil spill in one of our nation's 
most environmentally fragile areas, 
or Saddam Hussein's deliberate 
dumping of nearly 1.5 million tons 
of crude oil into the Persian gulf, 
makes the topic of oil spills one of 
the hottest environmental issues 
today. 



11 

But what about the smaller 
spills, that happen literally, right in 
our back yards? 

On March 28th when 400,000 
gallons of diesel fuel spewed from 
a Colonial Pipeline into Sugarland 
Run, and eventually a 50 mile 
stretch of the Potomac, we 
realized just how vulnerable every 
community in this nation is to the 
hazards of a potential oil spill. 



12 



Residents were forced to flee 
their homes. Plants and wildlife 
were instantly killed. Water 
supplies were threatened. The 

spill drew the anger of residents 
throughout the community, many 
of whom had no idea that millions 
of gallons of oil flowed beneath 
their homes each and every day. 



13 

We have assembled here 
today, not to point fingers, or 
place blame. That would clearly 
be counter-productive to what this 
vital hearing is attempting to 
accomplish. 

What we must concentrate on 
is the issue of pipeline safety, and 
the multitude of questions 
surrounding the complex operation 
of these vital energy lines. 



14 

We need to examine current 
regulations pertaining to sliut off 
valves in the event of similar 
disasters. 

We must consider the need to 
enact universal standards for 
pipeline inspections. 



15 

The technology of "smart- 
pigging" carries great promise for 
detecting defects, but unless we 
can make good use of this data, it 
will be sacrificed in vain. 



16 

With four serious pipeline spills 
in Virginia since 1985, the time 
has also come for the Colonial 
Pipeline Company to take a look at 
some of their own individual 
practices, particularly in regards to 
inspection. 



10 



/ 
17 



I am confident that the results 
of this hearing will prove most 
fruitful as this Subcommittee seeks 
to determine how we can avoid 
these environmental tragedies in 
the future. 

I welcome all of our witnesses 
here today, and once again Mr. 
Chairman, commend you for all of 
your hard work. Thank you. 



11 



18 

Mr. BORSKI. Let me recognize oxir distinguished Ranking Mem- 
ber, tiie gentleman from OMahoma, Mr. Inhofe. 

Mr. iJraOFE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and I want to 
also thank and commend Congresswoman Byrne and Congressman 
Frank Wolf for calling our attention to this and bringing this issue 
to the attention of the subcommittee. 

As a representative of the oil capital of the world, pipeline safety 
has always been of interest to me. Unfortunately several years ago 
my district was the site of a pipeline accident. In our case, it was 
an explosion which was due m part to the introduction of foreign 
matter into the pipeline. 

Not only did the explosion damage the pipeline, it released haz- 
ardous ftimes into the air and threatened the safety of pipeline em- 
ployees. 

The most important lesson learned from the explosion is that the 
key to minimizing public health risks and environmental damage 
is to have a workable emergency response plan. 

It is my understanding that all involved in the emergency re- 
sponse to the March 28th spill in Reston are to be commended. Due 
to the immediate efforts of the Fairfax Fire Department and Colo- 
nial Pipeline Company emergency response teams, the extent of 
damage was not as e3ctensive as it could have been given the vol- 
ume tnat was spilled. Once the degree of the spiU was known, addi- 
tional help was asked for and received from various Federal and 
State agencies. 

While there is never a good time for a spill, it appeared that in 
this incident all the relevemt governmental and private entities 
were able to come together and respond to the emergency in a com- 
prehensive and effective manner. 

In retrospect, we must now answer the question how safe is safe 
enough or what more needs to be done to prevent future spills? 

WWle it is relatively simple to require periodic pigging and in- 
crease the freauency of emergency or remote shut-off valves, the 
difficulty is balancing these requirements with economic realities. 
Unfortunately we can never make a system completely fail proof, 
even if it were technically feasible, it would be economically impos- 
sible. 

Equally impossible is placing an economic value on spill preven- 
tion. Thus we must balance the value of increased regulation 
against the cost of compliance. 

Also we must recognize that pipeline owners and operators are 
not the only entities that require oversight. Equally important is 
the need to address issues involving sharing of easements and pos- 
sible third-party violators. 

It is my hope that our efforts here today will result in a well 
thought out viable comprehensive response to future pipeline re- 
quirements and not just a reaction to one incident. 

Mr. Chairman, given the large niunber of witnesses, I will stop 
here and I look forw£u*d to hearing these witnesses. 

Mr. BORSKI. The Chairman would now like to recognize the dis- 
tinguished gentlewoman from Virginia, a valuable Member of this 
subcommittee. 

Ms. Byrne. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would also like to thank 
you for providing us the forum. By the turn out today, you see it 



19 

has gathered a lot of interest and we are here to discuss the Colo- 
nial Pipeline rupture on March 28th, in the 11th congressional dis- 
trict. And to see what measures to prevent such disasters in the 
future we can address. 

First of all I, too, would like to thank and congratulate Colonial 
Pipeline, the EPA, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, and the many 
other agencies that played an integral role in the cleanup effort. 
The emergency phase product recovery rate was impressive. And I 
hope that the long-term efforts proceed in the same manner. 

With more than 400,000 gallons of number two diesel fuel 
spilled, they had a difficult job on their hands and all of these that 
I mentioned rose to the occasion. And I commend them for that. 
There is no question that pipeline transportation of petroleum 
products and natural gas is a fact of life. It is more affordable and 
safer than many other modes of fuel transport. 

However, since these intricate systems of transport are 
honeycombed underneath our homes, our businesses, our roads, 
and our hospitals, in this case, we must insvire the safety of our 
institutions and the individuals who live and work on top of them. 

This is the second major incident involving oil in my district. Be- 
tween the tank farm on Pickett Road and the pipeline, Fairfax 
County is starting to look like the Exxon Valdez. 

My constituents and I have grave concerns about the health and 
environmental effects of these spills. We are curious about why 
they continue to happen and wonder why the industry seems ad- 
verse to making changes that would make some catastrophes less 
likely. 

We have all called this hearing today to determine if there are 
ways to prevent the latest occurrence and three major spills by Co- 
lonial in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the past and many more 
throughout the United States by this pipeline company and others. 

Our goal today is to ascertain what the pipeline industry can do, 
what the agencies involved can do, and what we in Congress can 
do to insure the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

TESTIMONY OF HON. FRANK R. WOLF, A REPRESENTATIVE IN 
CONGRESS FROM VIRGINIA 

Mr. BORSKI. The Chair thanks the gentlewoman. 

First I would like to welcome our first witness, the distinguished 
gentleman from the State of Virginia, the Ranking Member of the 
Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Congressman 
Frank Wolf. 

Mr. Wolf. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to submit my 
full statement if I may for the record and summarize. 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding the hearings on the recent 
Colonial pipeline break in Northern Virginia. In addition, I want 
to publicly commend the Fairfax Hazmat Team and the other Fed- 
eral and State and local agencies for their response to this unfortu- 
nate spill, and also pay a tribute to local officials in Loudoun Coun- 
ty and supervisor Bob Dix, whose district this is, and chairman 
Tom Davis. Both of them provided day-to-day, hour-to-hour leader- 
ship on this issue. In interests of brevity I will summarize. 



20 

As the Chairman and Members of this committee know, the Poto- 
mac River tributary, Sugarland Run, into which most of the 
400,000 gallons of diesel spilled, traverses Virginia's 10th congres- 
sional district, which I represent. 

I appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the opportunity to share with the 
committee my concerns and thoughts about some possible steps to 
avoid these disasters, or at least mitigate their impact. My testi- 
mony will stress proactive ideas to supplement or replace what 
seems to be reactive poUcy. 

It has been suggested that the Office of Pipeline Safety, OPS, 
does not belong in the Department of Transportation and would 
more appropriately fit into the portfolio of another Federal agency 
such as the Department of Energy. True, pipelines are a mode of 
transportation but only in the sense that utility lines are also, and 
pipelines transport energy. 

In addition to a more natural fit in terms of subject matter, the 
Department of Energy seems to be a more compatible home for 
pipeline safety for two other reasons. First the Department of En- 
ergy has expertise with costs and market circumstances affecting 
the energy industry which is important since any regulatory activ- 
ity needs cost benefit analysis. 

And second, the DOE also has extensive emergency response ca- 
pabihty with respect to energy catastrophes. 

Currently OPS is within the Research and Special Programs Ad- 
ministration, RSPA, of the Department of Transportation. RSPA is 
one of the most enthusiastic and hard working groups in the de- 
partment, and let me just say, my statement today is not meant, 
and I want to stress this, is not meant as any criticism. They have 
done a very good job. 

While this group is one of the most enthusiastic and hard work- 
ing, they simply do not have the staff or the resources to carry out 
the duties assigned to them. The result is that the Nation's pipe- 
line network is not receiving adequate oversight. 

Mr. Chairman, I would emphasize again, I am not being critical 
of RSPA, which cheerfully performs admirably on a shoestring 
budget. The people are hard working and dedicated. 

I will give you a graphic example of just how overwhelmed RSPA 
is. In a recent hearing of the transportation appropriations sub- 
committee on which I serve as the ranking Republican Member, we 
were discussing their fiscal year 1994 budget request for $2.6 mil- 
Uon to contract out the review of detailed emergency response 
plans submitted by private pipeline operators as required by the 
Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Mr. Chairman, there is a room at RSPA 
literally stacked with hundreds of plans awaiting review. No one 
has actually looked at them because they don't have the staff. It 
is not a criticism, they just don't have the manpower. 

I don't know, whether prior to the spiU, Colonial's pipeline plan 
had been read or was gathering dust like all the others in the 
RSPA holding tank. Nor am I claiming prior review of this plan 
would have prevented the spiU we are discussing today. However, 
it is important to remember that a major factor in the high-volume 
release of product into the environment during Colonial's spill was 
the delay of up to one and one half hours in getting to the mtmual 
valves. This underscores the importance of an emergency response 



21 

plan as well as the obvious assumption that these plans need 
prompt review so that emergency sta*ategies can be amended as 
necessary before disaster strikes. 

Why is the Office of Pipeline Safety in RSPA? I go into great de- 
tail in my full statement. RSPA does an outstanding job. They have 
the Volpe Center which is on the cutting edge of research such as 
IVHS technology. OPS has been placed in RSPA because there isn't 
any other place in the Department of Transportation where they 
would fit. 

Mr. Chairman, I thoroughly beUeve there are immediate steps 
that can be taken to make pipelines' safety more proactive. First, 
is the use of internal inspection devices, "smart pigs," which Jim 
Inhofe mentioned. 

Last year the GAO concluded that widespread use of smart pigs 
could save Hves and protect property by improving the safety and 
rehabihty of natural gas and hazardous hquids transmission lines. 

In 1988, Congress required RSPA to establish minimum federal 
safety standards so that all new and replacement pipelines could 
accommodate smart pigs. Prior to this 1988 congressional mandate, 
the National Transportation Safety Board had recommended in 
1987 that RSPA required natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline 
transmission operators to make modified and repaired pipelines 
piggable. 

RSPA has not issued either of the required regulations or fea- 
sibility study which was due in May. I nope this committee will 
push for a speedy final rule making in this area. 

Second, Mr. Chairman, there is another issue pending on the 
long delayed rule making docket at RSPA. For many years the Na- 
tional Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, has requested that 
RSPA issue regulations requiring excess flow valves. 

In addition, the 1992 Pipeline Safety Act reqmres RSPA to issue 
regulations in this area and indeed RSPA has issued an advanced 
notice of proposed rule making. However, the next step in the regu- 
latory process, issuing a notice of rule making, has not yet followed. 

I would hope this is an area where the committee will do what 
it can to speed up action as well as urging frequent spacing for 
these valves which will maximize protection, especially in heavily 
populated areas and areas with fi"agile ecosystems. 

Finally, Mr. Chairman, there is the issue of third partv damage. 
I think that has to be dealt with. This committee should look into 
that. It is very, very important. 

In the area where there is an ongoing rule making, I would urge 
the committee to explore options that would speed up the process. 
I am specifically referring to the rule making concerning tiie one- 
call systems such as Miss Utility. All owners of underground utili- 
ties should be required to belong to a one-call system so that prior 
to an evacuation, a call would be made which would result in the 
location of all underground utiUties. An emerging technology, sub- 
surface utiHty engineering, can further help pinpoint the location 
of utiUties. I was told that some utihties are not members of Miss 
UtiUty. I was also told that about a number of locahties around the 
country. 

Someone told me, and it may not be accurate, the other day that 
Arlington County, which used to be in my congressional district. 



22 

does not participate in Miss Utility. That may be wrong. I think 
from a UabiUty point of view, any utility would want to be part of 
it. 

I just think it is so important to — almost as a protection for the 
utility — that it would want to be involved and certcdnly any local 
government or county or a unit of government would want to be 
involved. 

So there are the three major points upon which we elaborate in 
detail in my testimony because I don't want to take the committee's 
time and I again thank the Chairman for holding the hearings, I 
appreciate it very much. 

Mr. BORSKI. I thank the gentleman. 

Questions for this gentleman? 

If not, let me thank you for your testimony. As always, it is very 
thoughtful. 

Mr. Wolf. Thank you. Bob. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you, sir. We would like to welcome our sec- 
ond witness, Stephen Luftig, Acting Deputy Director, Office of 
Emergency and Remedial Response. 

He is accompanied by Mr. Alfred Lindsey, Director, Office of En- 
vironmental Engineering and Technology; and Mr. Dennis Carney, 
Chief, Region III Superfund Removal Branch. 

Would you please stand. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

Mr. BORSKI. Let me first thank all of our witnesses for appearing 
before the subcommittee today. We have an extraordinanly full 
agenda this afternoon. So that we might be able to hear from all 
of our witnesses, we would ask that each of you summarize your 
statements. Of course, your entire statements will become part of 
the record. 

Mr. Luftig? 

TESTIMONY OF STEPHEN LUFTIG, ACTING DEPUTY DIREC- 
TOR, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY AND REMEDIAL RESPONSE, 
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ACCOMPANIED BY 
ALFRED LINDSEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL 
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION; AND 
DENNIS CARNEY, CHIEF, REGION HI SUPERFUND REMOVAL 
BRANCH 

Mr. LUFTIG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

My name is Stephen Luftig, Acting Deputy Office Director for the 
EPA's Office of Emergency and Remedial Response within EPA's 
Office of SoUd Waste and Emergency Response. And I am pleased 
to represent EPA here today. 

I am pleased to have the opportunity to address your subcommit- 
tee on tne subject of the recent Colonial Pipeline Company oil spill 
in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

With me today are two other EPA representatives, Mr. Alfred 
Lindsey, Director of the Office of Environmental Engineering and 
Technology Demonstration, which is within EPA's Office of Re- 
search and Development; and Mr. Dennis Carney of EPA's Region 
III, Superfund Removal Branch. 

With your permission, I would like to submit written testimony 
for the record. 



23 

Mr. BORSKI. So ordered. 

Mr. LUFTIG. EPA is one part of a large emergency response net- 
work that includes many Federal, State, and local participants 
throughout the country. EPA's role is described in the National 
Contingency Plan which is our regulatory blueprint for emergency 
planning and response. 

In addition to the national plan, each EPA regional office has a 
regional contingency plan in place covering various parts of the 
country. In general, we differentiate between planning for oil spills 
and responcfing to spills once they occur. It is our goal, of course, 
to prevent oil spills from occurring. However, when spills do occur, 
EPA assumes a lead role in responding to oil spills in the inland 
areas of the United States, while the Coast Guard has the lead re- 
sponse role for spills in the coastal areas. Great Lakes, and some 
large rivers. 

On Sunday morning, March 28th, the National Response Center 
telephoned the EPA Region III duty officer who is on call 24 hours 
a day to report a major pipeline oil spill. The spill was initially es- 
timated at several hundred thousand gallons and impacted the 
Sugarland Rim, a tributary of the Potomac River. 

Upon his arrival at the spill that afternoon, EPA's on-scene coor- 
dinator met with county emergency personnel who had already 
promptly initiated response measures that morning by deplo5dng 
booms to begin containing the spilled oil. In cooperation with State, 
county, and local officials, EPA employed a unified command sys- 
tem in accordance with the Region III Regional Contingency Plan- 
ning. 

This pre-set arrangement allowed EPA to direct spill response ef- 
forts as required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and forced the 
productive use of all available response resources. 

This coordination is vital because there are several competing 
priorities to consider in such a response. To protect pubhc health, 
drinking water faciUties must be immediately notified. As a result, 
some water intakes were temporarily closed and others were mon- 
itored frequently for any contamination. To prevent spilled oil from 
entering the Potomac River, and to protect the areas environment, 
booms and other spill mitigating devices were employed at the 
most accessible areas of Sugarland Rim. To keep the pubhc in- 
formed, a telephone pubhc information hotline was quickly estab- 
Ushed and staffed by Fairfax County. Response personnel were on 
the scene round the clock for several days. It is estimated that 
about 407,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil, a heating oil, were dis- 
charged from the pipeline. 

Our assessment of the Sugarland Run identified a considerable 
amount of shoreline contamination as well as wildlife injury. From 
the beginning of the incident. Colonial Pipeline had participated in 
the response activities; and on April 2nd, EPA issued a xinilateral 
administrative order to Colonial Pipeline. 

In response. Colonial Pipeline provided a draft response action 
plan detailing their future activities including long-term monitor- 
ing along Sugarland Run and the Potomac River and cleanup of oil 
contaminatedf areas. 

Now, several weeks after the spill, a considerable amount of 
work remains to be completed. Activities are under way to remove 



24 

excavated soil and to more fully assess the extent of contamination 
and any environmental damage. 

I would like to put this particular spill into perspective with 
other spills. About 19,000 oil spills were reported last year to the 
Federal Government. About 9 percent of tiiese are attributed to 
pipelines. The Colonial Pipeline spill was a very large spill. It was 
the second largest pipeline spill reported to the National Response 
Center during the past 12 months. 

Thsuik you for the opportvmity to appear before your subcommit- 
tee. My EPA colleagues and I will be pleased to answer any ques- 
tions you or the other subcommittee Members might have. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Luftig. 

Generally speaking, the emergency response to the Colonial spill 
seems to have gone pretty well, with the staff from EPA, local fire 
and rescue companies, and Colonial working well together. 

But suppose the spill had been worse, suppose the spill had oc- 
curred closer to the Potomac so that it was not contained within 
the Sugarland Run, and suppose more oil had escaped, how ade- 
quate would our resources have been? What m£u*gins of safety do 
we have in our preparedness? 

Mr. Luftig. As you say, the coordination went well and there 
was sufficient equipment and on-time response to trap a lot of oil 
in Sugarland Run oefore it hit the Potomac. And it would be dif- 
ficult to judge what would happen if more oil spilled closer to the 
larger Potomac River and difficult to evaluate the weather condi- 
tions and situations under those circumstances. 

We were able to bring a lot of spill response equipment to the 
site quickly. ITie Coast Guard helped us through a couple of their 
response centers, shipping equipment quickly to the site. We bor- 
rowed a helicopter fi-om the United States Army, and a lot of equip- 
ment was deployed very quickly. 

If the site had been more inaccessible and closer to the Potomac, 
likely more oil would have reached the Potomac River. 

During this high flow time, I think less oil impacted the drinking 
water intakes than might have impacted the intakes during lower 
flow times or if more oil had been discharged. But a larger spill, 
closer to the Potomac, would have had a greater impact on the Po- 
tomac River. 

Mr. BORSKI. So our preparedness really wouldn't change had that 
occurred again? 

Mr. Luftig. Depending on the volume of oil present. I think we 
were able to deploy a lot of equipment very quickly, though, to trap 
most of this oil. 

Mr. BORSKI. The gentleman fi*om Oklahoma? 

Mr. Inhofe. Tha^ you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Luflig, would you just characterize in one or two sentences 
the level of cooperation that received fi*om Colonial during this inci- 
dent? 

Mr. Luftig. I would say that they were cooperative. They were 
there early during the response with the county responders, and 
they have been fulfilling the requirements that we have asked 
them to undertake thus far within our administrative order. 

Mr. Inhofe. I always look at these things as hoping to make 
them learning exp>eriences. 



25 

Do you think, as a result of this accident, along with the work 
you have been doing, that we have better prepared ourselves for 
something like this in the future? 

Mr. LUFTIG. I think that the groups that got to work together, 
\infortunately, because of this spill are now better prepared even 
than before. They know each other better and are more aware of 
others* available resources to do things, like notify the public, keep 
a hotline open; but the groups were already famiUar in that they 
did have the regional contingency plan in place. And I think we 
were fortunate in that regard. 

Mr. Inhofe. I think Representative Wolf made it pretty clear 
when he said that everybody was cooperative, everyone worked 
hard, but perhaps we are just lacking some resources. There are 
never enough resources. 

In one of the written testimony that was submitted, one of the 
witnesses suggested tiiat the leading source of oil pollution in the 
United States is pipelines. 

Do you agree with that statement? 

Mr. LUFTIG. It is difficult to say. We go by data that is reported 
to the National Response Center. And as I mentioned, there were 
about 19,000 oil spills reported last year, and approximately 9 per- 
cent of those were pipeline oil spills. 

About 13.2 percent of the quantity of oil spilled was reported last 
year. In 1991, about 13.2 percent of the quantity of oil spilled was 
reported to have come from pipelines. 

Mr. Inhofe. That answers the question. Thank you very much. 

Mr, BORSKI. The gentlewoman from Virginia. 

Ms. Byrne. It is my understanding that the EPA monitored the 
product recovery as the cleanup was going on; and in the initial 
stages of this, it was reported that we had 200,000 gallons; and 
then, incrementally, it kept going up as more product, I guess, was 
discovered. And it struck me then, how do we verify the numbers 
that we get from Colonial? 

Is that your job? Do you verify those numbers? 

Mr. LUFTIG. Ms. Byrne, it was very hard to estimate the amount 
of oil that was beiug recovered. And the way it was done and con- 
tinues to be done is that as oil is pulled out with water, it is then 
separated, and the oil is usually recovered. 

And based on the first batches of oil that were removed and sep- 
arated, the Colonial Pipeline people gave us an estimate of how 
much oil was being removed with each batch. And that was then 
projected to the future as far as futiu*e oil removals. 

So it was a guess based on separating oil in the first few batches, 
and it certainly did vary over time. I think our closest estimate 
now is about 350,000 gaUons. We rely on their estimates, the folks 
that EPA had on scene. And at one point we had four or five people 
there. Response people, aroimd the clock, were really involved with 
deploying the equipment and managing — helping to manage the 
site. And we were reljdng on the pipefine compan/s estimate of the 
amount of oil recovered. 

The other part, too, if I may, is that the numbers reported as vol- 
ume recovered are interesting but don't direct our response, nec- 
essarily. That is mostly a visual kind of response. Where we see 
the oil and think we can get it, we go afl;er it. 



26 

Ms. Byrne. So do you feel that the recovery rates on these fig- 
ures that were given by Colonial are fairly high? 

I mean, I think it is estimated that we recovered all but 50,000 
gallons or something like that. 

Is that a fairly high figure for recovery rate on this kind of spill? 

Mr. LUFTIG. It is very high, yes. 

Ms. Byrne. Let's get into what we are going to do now, a little 
bit about long-term mitigation. 

What kinds of mitigation, long-term — now that we have got the 
dirt separated and everything pulled out of there that we saw 
today, what do you think is going to happen to it? 

And how long will it take to make the decision about what is 
going to happen to that contaminated soil? 

And when can we expect the aifected areas to regain their status 
prior to the spiU? 

Mr. LUFTIG. I will pass that to Mr. Carney who is managing the 
site cleanup. 

Mr. Carney. First of all, with regard to when we will be making 
some decision with regard to disposal of soil and things, under the 
administrative order that we issued to Colonial, they are required 
to provide us with some plans on options on how to handle that soil 
and, presuming they want to do off-site treatment on some loca- 
tions, where they would want to take it. 

Upon our review, then, we would give them the authority to go 
ahead and implement that. We have not received those plans, but 
we expect them soon. In terms of when the area itself may be re- 
stored to its original conditions — ^which is, I guess, the question as 
I understood it — ^that is very difficult to judge. 

This area was significantly, as you know, and seriously impacted 
environmentally by the oil spill. The stream itself served almost 
like an open culvert, if you will, for people to be able to boom 
across and work along while we recovered the oil. And because it 
was like that, that is why there were such high volumes of oil re- 
covery, why there was such an ability to — a good ability to retain 
it in the stream before it got to the Potomac. 

It is very difficult to judge. We will continue to work with the 
State and local governments and the local town of Hemdon and 
others to give them opportunities to review plans that we receive 
fi*om Colonial so we can get local input into the assessment and re- 
mediation process so that we can try and make sure it gets done 
as quickly as possible. 

Ms. Byrne. I just have one last question, Mr. Chairman. 

Last Monday, I think it was, in The Washington Post, there was 
an article regarding long-term effects of diesel oil. Did any of you 
happen to see that and the experiment that was done that diesel 
oil as it breaks down in the environment becomes more toxic and 
not less; and one of the remediation efforts that have been talked 
about is letting it degrade in the environment, biodegradability I 
guess it is. 

Could you comment? Have you any knowledge that diesel be- 
comes more toxic rather than less toxic as it is exposed to the envi- 
ronment? 

Mr. LuFTlG. Mr. Lindsey will answer that. 



27 

Mr. LiNDSEY. I, xinfortunately, did not see that article, and I will 
have to find it and take a look at it. 

What happens in the environment, typically, is that, over time, 
the oil bioremediates naturally. Microorganisms break it down and 
use it as foodstuffs, if you will. In the Valdez situation in Alaska, 
we did rather large-scale controlled tests and then treated a lot of 
the coastline via this method by trying to augment, if you will, nat- 
ural bioremediation by using nutrients. 

We did, in that case, spend quite a bit of resources looking at 
that issue. And we were not able to find any increase in toxicity 
in the breakdown products. Of course that was crude oil and not 
No. 2, so I can't vouch for what specifically might happen there. 

But we will have to get that information and take a look at it. 

Ms. Byrne. It was a study done by the Portel Marine Science 
Laboratory in Sequim, Washington, that showed the differences be- 
tween diesel oil, crude, and other types of petroleum products. And 
I would recommend that to you before we decide on the remedi- 
ation on the site. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. BORSKI. The Chair thanks the gentlewoman. 

Mr. Lindsey, let me follow up. Is EPA considering using 
bioremediation in this Sugarland Run area? 

Mr. Lindsey. That is one of the options on the shoreline-some of 
the contaminated shorelines which is a possibility. 

I think I would defer to you, Dennis, on that. 

Mr. Carney. Again, the administrative order which we have is- 
sued to Colonial basically gives them the opportunity to provide us 
a plan with various options or alternatives on how to best handle 
the remediation of not only the soils and piles where excavation oc- 
curred, but along the shoreline as well. 

Bioremediation is certainly an alternative that they may consider 
as well as enhanced bioremediation where you actually try to do 
something to stimulate the naturally occurring organisms locally, 
or there may be some other options that seem appropriate. 

We have not received that plan yet. We expect it soon. 

Mr. BoRSKi. If the plan came in did not include bioremediation, 
would that be something you could encourage them to do? 

Mr. Carney. I think we need to take a look at what their pro- 
posal was first. 

Mr. BORSKI. Any other questions? 

If not, thank you very much. 

Mr. BoRSKl. We would like to welcome our third witness, Mr. 
Christopher A. Hart with the National Transportation Safety 
Board. Mr. Hart is accompanied by Mr. Larry Jackson, Acting 
Chief, Pipeline Division, National Transportation Safety Board. 

Gentlemen, would you please rise? 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Hart, you may proceed. 

TESTIMONY OF CHRISTOPHER A. HART, NATIONAL TRANS- 
PORTATION SAFETY BOARD, ACCOMPANIED BY LARRY 
JACKSON, ACTING CHIEF, PIPELINE DIVISION, NATIONAL 
TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD 

Mr. Hart. Thank you. 



28 

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Members of the subcommit- 
tee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear on behalf of the Na- 
tional Transportation Safety Board to discuss our ongoing inves- 
tigation into the recent Colonial Pipeline Company accident in 
Northern Virginia. 

With me today to help with questions is Larry Jackson, the Act- 
ing Chief of our Pipeline Division. 

In the Umited time available, I would like to give a synopsis of 
my written testimony that you now have before you. But I would 
ask that the written testimony be included in the record. 

Mr. BoRSKi. Without objection, it is so ordered. 

Mr. Hart. Thank you. 

As this panel knows, the National Transportation Safety Board 
is an independent agency that is charged with investigating trans- 
portation accidents, determining their probable cause, and propos- 
uig safety recommendations to help prevent their recurrence. 

The Safety Board also conducts safety studies and evaluates the 
effectiveness of the programs of other government agencies and 
companies in the transportation industries for preventing transpor- 
tation accidents. 

Liquid pipelines transport about 54 percent of our Nation's petro- 
leum products. When released during accidents involving such 
pipelines, these products can cause mmions of dollars in environ- 
mental damage and other disruptions. 

These losses were not considered in developing pipeline safety 
standards until recently when the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 
added environmental protection as an objective for pipeline safety 
standards. 

The accident we are discussing today is the March 28th, 1993, 
rupture of the 36-inch Colonial Pipeline Company pipeline in Hem- 
don, Virginia, that runs behind the Reston Hospital Physicians Of- 
fice Building. 

This rupture occurred in a section of pipeline between a pump 
station in Chantilly, Virginia, and another station 45 miles from 
there in Dorsey, Maryland. At the point of the rupture, the top of 
thepipeline was approximately eight feet below the surface. 

The company's controller in Atlanta received an alarm from the 
Dorsey station, and within minutes, remotely closed certain valves. 
In addition, two pumps at the Dorsey station automatically 
stopped, and the Dorsey station operator remotely closed another 
Dorsey station valve. 

Between these remote control valves were several manually oper- 
ated valves, and local Colonial employees drove to some of the 
valves downstream of the rupture on both sides of the Potomac 
River and closed them to further isolate the line. 

The 45 miles of pipeline between the remotely operated valves 
are estimated to have a capacity of about 12.4 million gallons, or 
about 295,000 barrels. The company. Colonial, estimates that about 
407,000 gallons, or about 9,700 barrels of No. 2 fuel oil, escaped. 
And they estimate that they recovered about 87 percent of that. 

Near the rupture site was a nm-off pond for the hospital parking 
lot, and the escaping fiiel oil from the rupture quickly filled that 
pond and entered into a storm drain that entered into Sugarland 
Run Creek, from which it flowed into the Potomac River and 



29 

threatened the nearby water intake for Fairfax County. The water 
intake was subsequently closed, and citizens in the immediate area 
were evacuated. 

When the pipeline was excavated after the accident, there were 
large boulders and rocks on and around the pipeline that could be 
seen. The boulders and rocks were removed dxiring excavation. 
When the excavation reached the pipe, the 42-inch rupture on the 
top of pipeline was exposed. 

An 18-foot section of the pipeline was taken to the Safety Board 
Material Laboratory for further examination. Microscopic inspec- 
tion of that section in o\ir lab preliminarily suggests a metal scrap- 
ing on the top of the pipe, although no determination has yet been 
made as to me source of this scrape. There were also some dents 
on the pipe. 

Several days after the accident, the Office of Pipeline Safety of 
the Research and Special Programs Administration within DOT re- 
quired Colonial to expose and examine an additional 700 feet of the 
pipeline to search for additional damage along the medical office 
parking lot. 

This pipe segment rested on a protruding bedrock, and during 
the lifting of the pipeline, a dimple was discovered in the bottom 
of the pipe. The Board requested Colonial to also remove this dent- 
ed pipe section located 28 feet downstream from the rupture. It 
was also taken to our laboratory where the dent was observed to 
be about three-quarters of an inch deep and about 10 inches across. 

The on-scene phases of the Safety Board's investigation are now 
finished, and we are now reviewing Colonial's design and construc- 
tion records as well as its previous pipeline accidents and operating 
and maintenance history. 

The issues we are now examining include the adequacy of inter- 
nal electromagnetic, ultrasonic, and other pipeline inspections, 
their utilization by Colonial, and existing requirements for their 
use. 

We are also looking at the adequacy of inspections during pipe- 
line installation and during construction and maintenance that oc- 
curs near a pipeline; remotely operated and automatic shut-off 
valves; early leak detection procedures and their performance in 
conjunction with supervisory control and data acquisition systems, 
such as the one that was in use by Colonial; the structure and in- 
tegrity of the pipeline; and Feder^ oversight of the Colonial Pipe- 
line activities. 

As this subcommittee knows, these are not new issues for the 
Safety Board because we have recommended for some time the use 
of appropriate pipeline internal inspection eqmpment at least since 
1987. 

We have also recommended appropriately spaced remotely oper- 
ated valves to enable the prompt isolation of sections that pass 
through populated areas. 

Again, the Safety Board thanks the subcommittee for the oppor- 
tunity to testify, and I would be very pleased to answer any ques- 
tions that the panel may have. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Hart. 

Mr. Hart, in your testimony, you stated that the remote control 
valves on the ruptured 36 inch pipeline were located 45 miles apart 



30 

and that the 45-mile segment of the pipehne had the capacity to 
hold 12.4 mUUon gallons. Based on your experience with pipeHnes, 
is 45 miles an imusually long distance between valves or is it fairly 
typical in the pipeline industry? 

Mr. Hart. Mr. Jackson will take that question. 

Mr. Jackson. The spacing of valves, there are no regulations 
with respect to that. For liquid valves, tiiere are some in the natu- 
ral gas regulations. But with respect to this, in this area, there are 
none. The spacing typically has been used depending on what they 
thought was neetfed on the length and pumping of the stations. 

In this case, tiie valves were at the pump stations, 45 miles 
apart, and you needed additional force to get the material through 
the pipeline. 

Mr. BORSKI. The safety board issued recommendations in the 
past on pipelines which pass through highly populated areas. Does 
the safety board have any specific recommendations regarding the 
spacing of these valves either in highly populated or sensitive 
areas, and what recommendations do you have outstanding that 
might affect the length of the spacing? 

Mr. Jackson. I think the safety board's history started about 
1971 when we said, remote valves should be placed throughout the 
system. Numerous studies were done in the early 1970s which said 
they were not cost beneficial. As we entered the late 1980 era and 
issued recommendations again in this area. 

The strategy we used to, hopefully, get some adoption of regula- 
tions in this area is they are cost beneficial in the populated areas 
and where there is possible environmental impact damage. We 
made those recommendations in 1987. I think RSPA has since done 
a study which shows that it is feasible in those areas. Of course, 
PubHc Law 100-561 indicated that RSPA should go forward in that 
rule-making process. 

Mr. BoRSKi. The gentleman fi*om Oklahoma. 

Mr. Inhofe. Mr. Hart, your testimony indicated that there are 
a niimber of NTSB recommendations that have been made concern- 
ing pipeline internal inspection equipment and insulation of re- 
motely operated valves. Could you enlighten the subcommittee as 
to what the status is of those recommendations, if they have been 
acted upon, or if there are any outstanding? 

Mr. Hart. There are some outstanding, but we have deemed the 
response to be unacceptable. Mr. Jackson can supply the details. 

Mr. Jackson. As a result of the Beaumont, Kentucky Act, we is- 
sued 87-6 and 87-6 to RSPA. They replied that they were related 
to what they were doing. There was no action taken in this area 
until the 1988 Public Law 100-561. They began a study on the fea- 
sibility of requiring operators to use the devices. 

That study was completed and submitted to Congress in 1990. 
Meanwhile, we had additional accidents involving the Southern Pa- 
cific in San Bernardino, California. That was the train accident 
when the pipeline was scraped and it ruptured several days later. 
We reiterate the recommendation. 

Currently there is a MPRM that RSPA has out on internal in- 
spections. We are very concerned with that. It says you should be 
able to run inspection devices through their lines. There is no re- 
quirement that you have to have the ability to get that device into 



31 

the line and receive it. That is one of the problems we saw in the 
California accident where they are going to have to run two or 300 
miles. And the speed of two or 300 miles per hour, it would take 
a very long time to get that pipeline opened again. 

In 1990, GAO did a study pertinent to natural gas, but much of 
that occiured to the Uquid pipelines. In 1993, they responded to the 
recommendations of 86 and 87, and the board voted to change that 
to unacceptable response. We were glad to see tiie public laws and 
we were hoping RSPA will see action in this area very soon. 

Mr. Inhofe. Let me ask the same question I asked the previous 
witness. As a responding organization, how would you characterize 
the efforts and performance of Colonial, of EPA, the State and local 
entities. 

Mr. Hart. If I might again, I would like to defer to Mr. Jackson. 
Thank you. 

Mr. Jackson. At this point, I think it is premature for us to 
m£ike any statement to that effect. We are still collecting a tremen- 
dous amount of data. Typically, the safety board will look at some- 
thing from two or three different angles or aspects. Until we ana- 
lyze it different ways, I think it is premature to say how Colonial 
performed or Fairfax or the water authorities or EPA. 

Specifically, we have not even gotten the EPA reports and not 
gotten into the aspect of litigation, so I think it is premature. 

Mr. Inhofe. Then how would you characterize their cooperation? 

Mr. Jackson. We have had tremendous cooperation from them 
with the material and information we have requested from them. 
From that standpoint, there has been a good working relationship 
with all the organizations. 

Mr. BORSKI. The gentlewoman from Virginia, Ms. Byrne. 

Ms. Byrne. Are you saying the pipeline rupture was due to me- 
chanical damage but you are not willing to assess when, where or 
who damaged tiie pipe? 

Mr. Hart. No, I uiink what we have discovered preliminarily is 
that there are some metal signatures on the pipe that indicate a 
scraping of metal. It is not that we are not willing, but we are in 
the process of conducting that examination as we speak, and we 
are yet not able to determine. If Mr. Jackson has additional details, 
I would defer to him. 

Mr. Jackson. Before we get to the bottom of that question, we 
plan to do metallurgy analysis looking at how many fatigue sched- 
ules it went through. About 30 percent went through those fatigue 
signs. We want to try to get an idea for perhaps when the initial 
mechanical damage occurred. We also want to combine that with 
all Colonial's flights, where they observed information along the 
line, somewhat going on. We also want to combine that by looking 
at this utility data we are still seeking and getting slowly. 

We will also look at Fairfax County permits and we may go into 
the individual logs for various construction projects along the right 
of way in that area. That is going to be an intensive effort that will 
take time. 

Mr. Hart. That right of way is qxiite crowded. There are some 
other Colonial pipelines and other lines overhead. 

Ms. Byrne. I think we should talk about some other right of 
ways that are there later on this eiftemoon, too. 



32 

The Water Authority of Fairfax County was out at the site dur- 
ing the time this pipe was made and had brought us photos that 
I am going to share with you and make part of tiie record and give 
you a set of them. But it was at the time and the site of the laying 
of Colonial. 

[The photographs follows:] 



33 




34 




35 




36 

Ms. Byrne. The first one, Mr. Chairman, shows an unusual 
gouge, an indentation at least as this pipe was being laid. I wanted 
you to have a copy of this and try to determine if you recognize 
these types of gouges in this pipe as the type of longitudinal gouges 
that you talked about, because I think it is indicative of somethmg 
other than a third-party damage. So we will pass these on to you 
for you to take a look at. 

In your other testimony, you also stated that when they dug the 
pipe up, there were a large number of boulders? 

Mr. Hart. Yes, rocks and boulders. 

Ms. Byrne. As product oil goes through these pipelines, they vi- 
brate and that is the reason why we really don't want a lot of back- 
fill that has large boulders. There is a standard, I believe, about 
how big backfill can be in terms of you have to be able to hold it 
in your hand. Can you help me on that? 

Mr. Jackson. We are not aware of any Federal regulations to 
that. What we will look at the contract specifications for that. The 
backfill issue is definitely an area that we will look into in the in- 
vestigation and determine if that was a role in this accident or if 
it was a good practice. 

We are concerned about this because we looked at the research 
and data there. We found 51 Colonial accidents in the case and 
they did talk about them being due to rocks and boulders. So we 
are interested in that area and we will explore it. With regard to 
Fairfax, they have provided us with some pictures during initial 
construction and showed some large rocks and boulders in the area. 

Ms. Byrne. Mr. Chairman, I have two photographs, as I men- 
tioned before, where these pipelines are being laid at the time on 
the site. It shows the backhoe putting rather large boulders back 
in the hole around this pipeline. 

I will also submit these to the safety board and the committee 
so they can make them part of the record. We are really not at the 
point where we can assign what happened in this particular rup- 
ture, are we? 

When we hear people say there had to be third-party damage 
during the construction, we are not at that point? 

Mr. Hart. Given our resources, it will probably be at least a year 
from the accident until we come up with a completed report and 
a probable cause determination. In that report, we may also look 
at other Colonial accidents. 

Ms. Byrne. One last follow-up question, Mr. Chairman. Mr. 
Chairman, you asked about the 45 miles between the shut-off 
valves. Is that an average? We talked about no regulations apply- 
ing. But is there an average? Can you determine what the average 
is between shut-off valves? 

Mr. Hart. I will defer on that to Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. If we wanted to get some type of feel for that infor- 
mation, we would have to do it on Colonial's basis or perhaps do 
some kind of inventory and ask a number of companies to provide 
us information on that. But we ourselves right now do not have 
that information. 

Ms. Byrne. Thank you. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. BORSKI. Are there any other questions? If not, thank you 
both for your testimony. 



37 

[Subsequent to the hearing, additional question were submitted 
to Mr. Hart (NTSB). The questions and responses follow:] 

Questions for the Record Submitted by Chairman Borski (NTSB) 

1. When the ruptiired pipe was excavated, were soil samples taken firom below 
the pipe to determine if product other than diesel fuel was leaking prior to the main 
rupture? 

Response. Soil samples were not taken from below the pipe, since the initial re- 
view and field examination of the failure, conducted by a Safety Board metallurgist, 
suggested that the rupture was catastrophic with no opportunity for a small leak. 
Later, this field assessment was confirmed by the in-aepth metallurgical analysis 
that was conducted in our laboratory. 

2. Were the anomalies discovered in the excavated Colonial pipeline greater than 
the industry standard of less than 6% of the thickness of the pipeline w^? 

Response. Anomalies observed on the pipe included dents, scrapes and a fatigue 
crack. ASME standard B31.4 (1992 edition), section 451.6.2 defines the limits for re- 
moval of pipe. Gouges and grooves having a depth greater than 12.5% of the nomi- 
nal wall thickness and dents exceeding 6% of the nominal pipe diameter are to be 
removed or repaired. Since the pipe was 36-inches in diameter and 0.344 inches 
thick, the dents had to be 2.16 inches deep and gouges and grooves had to be 0.043 
inches deep to require removal. The dents, gouges and ^tmves did not approach 
these deptns and would not have required replacement. The scrape progressed to 
a fatigue crack that extended to a depth of a third of the wall thickness. If this 
crack had been detected prior to rupture it would have been removed or repaired 
based on the ASME standard. 

3. One of the central responsibiUties of NTSB, as it relates to pipeline safety, is 
to investigate pipeline accidents in an effort to determine the cause of the accident 
and to propose safety recommendations to prevent further accidents from occurring. 
According to yovir records, of over 2,000 pipeline accidents reported annually, onfy 
25-30 accidents are investigated by NTSB's two pipeline investigators. Does NTSo 
have the necessary personnel to effectively fulfill its mandated pipeline safety re- 
sponsibiUties? 

Response. Currently, there tire about 400 pipeline accidents annually that are re- 
quired to be reported to RSPA by the companies. When the severity of an accident 
exceeds $500,000, results in a fatality, or an extensive release of highly volatile liq- 
uids, the Safety Board investigates the accident. The Safety Board's pipeline inves- 
tigators conduct 10 to 20 accident investigations annually. In addition, the States 
or RSPA are requested by the Safety Board to investigate an additional 10 to 20 
accidents. Because of changes in the 1992 Pipeline Safety Act, the Safety Board also 
investigates accidents that result in significant iiyury to the environment. 

The Safety Board does not have sufficient resources to investigate all pipeline ac- 
cidents. The accidents are screened carefully to determine the severity of^the acci- 
dents and the possible issues. This screening process allows the Board's limited 
pipeline investigation resources to be applied to those accidents that have a signifi- 
cant impact on pipeline safety on a national scale. To assist in future investigations 
that involve significant iiyury to the environment, as mandated, the Safety Board 
is seeking an additional position in the fiscal year 1995 budget. 

Mr. Borski. We would like to welcome our next witness Mrs. 
Rose A. McMurray, Acting Administrator, Research and Special 
Programs Administration, Department of Transportation accom- 
panied by Mr. George W. Tenley, Associate Administrator Office of 
Pipeline Safety. 

[Witness sworn.] 

TESTIMONY OF ROSE A. McMURRAY, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, 
RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION, DE- 
PARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, ACCOMPANIED BY 
GEORGE W. TENLEY, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE 
OF PIPELINE SAFETY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

Ms. McMurray. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of 
the committee. I am pleased to appear on behalf of the Secretary 
of Transportation concerning important issues arising out of the 



38 

Colonial Pipeline Company spill of diesel fuel on March 28, 1993, 
into Sugarland Run in Fairfax County, Virginia. Appearing with 
me is George W. Tenley, Jr., Associate Administrator for Pipeline 
Safety. 

My testimony follows the format presented in the Subcommittee's 
letter requesting the Department's appearance. I have provided for 
the record testimony which outlines the Subcommittee's request. In 
that written testimony, I discuss our mission, areas of oversight, 
goals and challenges. 

Simply put, our goal is to assure the highest level of pubUc safety 
and environmental protection at a cost commensurate with real 
risk. Among the many challenges we face, we beUeve we must have 
a comprehensive risk management system. We have plans to use 
the system to consider the relative risks of all potential causes of 
accidents and the probability of fluorocarbons. 

The pipeline program is in transition as we work toward manag- 
ing the program on the basis of comprehensive risk assessment. We 
have basically six areas of operational focus: Data analysis and in- 
formation systems, research and development, regulatory pro- 
grams, compKance, training and information dissemination, and 
emergency response. 

The most important element of our risk assessment process, and 
the one which we acknowledge needs much more attention, is reU- 
able data. 

The 36-inch pipeline that ruptured in Reston, Virginia is cur- 
rently in service at a pressure of 50 percent of its maximum operat- 
ing pressure. 

In accordance with RSPA's hazardous facility order. Colonial sub- 
mitted a plan for the internal inspection of the pipeline using an 
instrumented diagnostic device. This is commonly referred to as a 
"smart pig." Based on negotiations with Colonial, our agency will 
determine the most appropriate pig to run in this pipeline. We ex- 
pect to conclude these negotiations no later than next week. 

The Colonial incident demonstrates the value of new construction 
inspections. If we had been able to be on the scene when the 36- 
inch line was constructed, we woxild be in a better position today 
to assure you our construction standards were properly followed. 

However, with only two inspectors in 1980 for the entire eastern 
region, we could inspect very few new construction projects. 

Concerned about the environmental impact of the Colonial spill. 
Secretary Pena, in one of his earhest acts as Secretary of Transpor- 
tation, directed we review the adequacy of the Federal pipeline pro- 
gram in providing environmental protection. This will quickly re- 
sult in an action plan ensuring that additional environmental pro- 
tection measures are put on a priority timetable. 

As the Secretary has made clear, the actions we take to meet his 
strong commitment to environmental protection must be weighed 
against actions necessary to meet our public safety mission. 

The environmental mandate is relatively new to RSPA. An im- 
portant first step is the identification and rank of those areas of 
geographical risk of pollution fi*om hazardous Uquid pipelines. We 
are particularly interested in rivers that are sources of drinking 
water. 



39 

Once these areas £u*e known, we will apply our primary regu- 
latory strategy, putting emphasis on prevention of accidents and 
spills and the maintenance of pipeline integrity. This means keep- 
ing the product in the pipe. While spills from pipelines are undesir- 
able, the unfortunate reality is that probably more spiQs will occur. 

To limit the numbers and consequences of these spills, we are 
looking at putting added emphasis on monitoring and emergency 
response procedures. In our comphance program, we are assessing 
means to reduce environmental risk through a redirection of in- 
spection time related to liauid operators, new construction, and 
field time inspections of pipelines and related facihties. 

With respect to the important State programs, we are evaluating 
the extent of State participation in the hazardous Uquid program. 
We £u*e determining how to enhance our field comphance presence 
and the number of pipelines inspected by States. 

In implementing the Oil Pollution Act, or OPA, we beUeve we 
need to reach out to industry and the States to collaborate in a na- 
tional effort to map pipelines. Also, we want to better support the 
area of contingent planning efforts for setting environmental prior- 
ities. 

Historically, accidents like the recent Colonial spill in Virginia 
have provided valuable lessons. The Federal pipeline program that 
we have today has been derived from lessons learned from similar 
accidents which became mandates through past and current pipe- 
line legislation. 

We are concerned that lessons learned be viewed in terms of 
their relative merits. All risks associated with pipeline transpor- 
tation are not equal. 

As we implement the 14 rule-makings, studies, reports and other 
mandates of the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992, RSPA will prioritize 
those initiatives based on risk assessment. 

As we go through the Oil Pollution Act, we go through areas such 
as pipeline reauthorization mandates as interrelated to OPA work. 
Our analysis of OPA response zones involve areas of environmental 
importance and the means to provide adequate protection whether 
through protection or response. 

With the data provided from OPA response plans, we are begin- 
ning work to map geographic information systems to benefit the 
base program. Since low stress lines are regulated under OPA, we 
have information on those lines which help us with those manda- 
tory initiatives under the Pipeline Safety Act. 

We have advocated a comprehensive approach to management of 
the program. This requires an effort in which all involved with 
pipeline safety and EPA join with resources and data to address 
the causes of pipeline accidents. This requires States availing 
themselves of the opportunity to assume the broadest possible ju- 
risdiction for overseeing intrastate pipeline regulations. 

Government, academia and States must all work together to xm- 
derstand the emerging trend, solve safety and environmental pro- 
grams, and accept program priorities within available resources. 

To achieve the best possible record, we must end the historical 
and adversarial paradigm of regulator versus the regulated. We 
stand ready to work with this committee and others to meet their 
goal. 



40 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Tenley and I are prepared to an- 
swer any questions that you have. 

Mr. BORSKI. RSPA has received numerous recommendations from 
NTSB, GAO, and others, many of which have not been imple- 
mented. Would the Colonial spill or others have been avoided if 
those recommendations had been implemented? I'm talking about 
the use of the smart pigs, criteria for hydrostatic tests and installa- 
tion of remote operated valves? 

Ms. McMURRAY. In each case, there has been some effort that 
has been undertaken in the Office of Pipeline Safety to study the 
NTSB studies. Not all of them have proceeded into an actual rule. 
We have right now a study of the smart pig program as part of our 
mandates of the 1992 Act. 

We have been working coUegially, I beheve, with the NTSB in 
making progress in each and every one of those areas. While we 
wish we could report more closed and acceptable actions from the 
NTSB, we still would assert we have been working with them to 
proceed to the goal of mitigating the pipeline problems we have in 
this country. 

Greorge may want to add to that. 

Mr. Tenley. If all those means were in place, then I would have 
to say, yes, you would reduce the number and consequences of 
spills. To the extent they emanate from NTSB recommendations, to 
determine the probable cause of an accident, we have to look at 
these issues and others. Sometimes that slows us down. 

Mr. BORSKI. What is the status on the emergency slow flow re- 
striction devices required by the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992? 
Would these have made a difference in Northern Virginia? 

Ms. McMuRRAY. We had a report issued in 1991 on that subject, 
I beheve. We are currently considering how we might proceed with 
the recommendations in that study. 

Mr. BORSKI. Would you care to comment if they would have 
made a difference in this particular incident? 

Mr. Tenley. I don't beheve it would have. Clearly, again, you can 
say that 45 miles is too broad a distance in that area for remotely 
controlled valves and they should have been closer, but in deter- 
mining where to put them, you have to consider topography of the 
land and other things. You still would have had a drainage if they 
were closer. You have to consider these issues in how to place your 
valves. 

Mr. BORSKI. What is your opinion of the unified command re- 
sponse to the March 29 spill? 

Ms. McMuRRAY. Being someone in an acting capacity, I had my 
first experience with responding to a m^or oil spill. It seemed to 
me there was a great deal of cooperation, collegiality and commu- 
nication. 

Our office dispatched to the scene right away, an inspector from 
the eastern region. He reported back to us on tiie response by the 
coimty and the Coast Guard. And other jurisdictions were nothing 
short of a case study in regional cooperation. 

Mr. BORSKi. The gentleman from Oklahoma? 

Mr. Inhofe. I have no questions. 

Mr. BORSKl. The gentlewoman from Virginia. 



41 

Ms. Byrne. It is my understanding that for an anomaly in a pipe 
to be required to be fixed by your office, it has to be 6 percent of 
the thiclmess of the pipe. 

Is that correct? 

Ms. McMuRRAY. I beheve that is the engineering standard that 
we adhere to and implement. 

Ms. Byrne. In the safety board's testimony, they talked about 
the pipe having dents and scratches that exceed this threshold. I 
assvime you didn't know they had dents and scratches that ex- 
ceeded 6 percent? 

Mr. Tenley. We are aware fi-om our examination conducted with 
NTSB and Colonial tiiat any of the dents in the pipeline in that 
range were repaired. It is news to me that there was a large num- 
ber of impairments. I will look into that information. 

Ms. Byrne. How large does a spill have to be before it is reported 
to you? 

Mr. Tenley. Irrespective of injuries or cost damage, it is 50 bar- 
rels. 

Ms. Byrne. Ms. McMurray, you stated in 1980 you only had two 
inspectors for the whole eastern region? 

Ms. McMurray. That is right. 

Ms. Byrne. So this pipe, as it was laid, was not inspected by you. 
There is no evidence of that in your office or in your files? 

Ms, McMurray. I understand that we did not have an inspector 
on-site. 

Ms. Byrne. In researching what happened here, do you know if 
anybody did an inspection as this pipe was put down? 

Ms. McMurray. I have to believe that the Colonial Pipeline 
Company had their staff of experts during construction of the pipe 
to assure that the pipeline was installed properly. But no, I have 
no definite reason to know that they in fact had someone on site. 

Ms. Byrne. When we hydrostatically test these pipes after they 
have been welded and before they go into operation, that is a re- 
quirement that we hydrostatically test them; right? 

Mr. Tenley. That is right. 

Ms. Byrne. Who certifies these tests; do you? 

Mr. Tenley. We don't certify them. The operator self-certifies 
they were performed and we check the records to be sure they were 
performed. When they do new construction inspections, we can be 
there during the hydrostatic testing. 

Ms. Byrne. But you were not in that instance? 

Mr. Tenley. No. 

Ms. Byrne. It was reported that that line was inspected weeks 
before the rupture. Do you have any knowledge of what kind of in- 
spection was done? Do you think that something could have been 
detected if a fiill inspection had been done? 

Do you remember Colonial said they inspected this pipe a few 
weeks before the rupture? 

Mr. Tenley. On me 29th, they ran a caliper pig through it. Our 
inspection in March of 1993 was a standard inspection. We also go 
out and do field inspections of certain facilities. In this case, we 
checked the valve on the Virginia side of the Potomac River and 
it did pass inspection and in fact properly operated at the time of 
the accident. 



42 

Ms. Byrne. Was this a normal inspection? Did you have a reason 
to inspect this? 

Mr. Tenley. It was a scheduled routine standard inspection. 

Ms. Byrne. So the valve was okay? 

Mr. Tenley. We looked at the pump station, the records and the 
valve. 

Ms. Byrne. But no one looked at the pipe? 

Mr. Tenley. No, we would not typically look at the buried pipe. 

Ms. Byrne. Thank you. 

Mr. BORSKI. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Duncan. 

Mr. Duncan. Thank you. I have not been here for the whole 
hearing and I know very httle about pipelines and things of that 
measure, but I understand the pipeline transportation is, in fact, 
tiie safest method of transporting petroleum products; is that true? 

Ms. McMuRRAY. Yes. Liquid pipelines carry 50 to 55 percent of 
the ye£u*ly consumption of petroleum products. It is the safest form 
of transport of those products. 

Mr. Duncan. I also read in the material here that the Colonial 
Company — and I certainly have no connection with them — but they 
transport over 80 miUion gallons of product a day and they have 
one of the best records on safety. 

Is that true or false? 

Mr. Tenley. It is about 28 percent of the product deUvered to the 
New York area and Northeast. Their record is standard and rep- 
resentative of the industry as a whole. 

Mr. Duncan. In your testimony, you say, "If we had been able 
to be on the scene in 1980 at the time the Colonial 36-uich line was 
constructed, we could have assured that our standards were fol- 
lowed and would have had a better understanding today as to the 
cause of the accident." 

But you are not saying anybody did anything wrong at that time 
or there was improper construction; is that right? 

Ms. McMuRRAY. No, sir. There is no way for us to ascertain that. 

Mr. Duncan. It is not only possible, but it is highly probable that 
if an inspector had been there, it would have done no good at all. 
I mean, the construction would have been the same and you would 
have found that everj^thing was being done properly. 

Ms. McMuRRAY. It is certainly hard to speculate whether all 
standards would have been met. One would think that, at a mini- 
mum, a deterrent factor would be in play. If there had been an in- 
spector physically and visibly inspecting construction practices that 
there might be, one might surmise that there would be a tendency 
to protect and comply with construction standards that we have is- 
sued. 

Mr. Duncan. Thank you very much. 

Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Tenley, the rules of pipeline safety require that 
shut-off valves be located on each side of a water crossing that is 
more than 100 feet wide from high water mark to high water mark 
unless the Secretary finds the valves are not justified. In the recent 
Colonial spill, a manual shut-ofiT value was located one and a half 
miles firom the Potomac River on the downstream side of the rup- 
ture? 



43 

Are there no regulations about how close the valve can be to the 
river? Is this adequate to protect environmentally sensitive areas 
and the water supply? 

Mr. Tenley. I thmk we will look at the valve spacing to see if 
it is reasonable. A mile and a half from a water source that sup- 
pUes the water supply that this river provides, we might have to 
tighten up on that. We don't prescribe in the regulations a defini- 
tive standard as to where the valve is placed. 

Mr. BORSKI. Are there further questions? If not, thank you very 
much for your testimony. 

[Subsequent to the hearing additional questions were submitted 
to Ms. McMurray. The questions and responses follow:] 



o 



44 



The Admmiilwlor 400 Seventh Sireel. S W 



1 ic ruaonrtrrvnt The Admnitlralor «« oevwim anm. o r, 

U.b.U)eparTmeni WeshSngion. D C 20590 

Of Transportanon 

Research and AUG I I 1993 

Special Programs 

Administration 



The Honorable Robert A. Borski 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Investigations 

and Oversight 
Committee on Public Works and Transportation 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) 
appreciated the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee on 
Investigations and Oversight on May 18, 1993, to testify on the 
Department of Transportation's actions following the March 28, 
1993, Colonial Pipeline Company spill of 400,000 gallons of 
diesel fuel into the Sugarland Run. 

RSPA has completed an environmental examination of the hazardous 
liquid pipeline safety program directed by Secretary Pena 
following the Colonial spill. A plan of action is currently 
undergoing review within the Department. Please be assured that 
RSPA intends to proceed proactively in implementing measures to 
prevent environmental damage caused by pipeline spills. 

Our answers to additional questions are enclosed for inclusion in 
the hearing record. If we can be of further assistance in this 
matter, please contact me or Ms. Patricia Klinger, who handles 
our congressional inquiries, at (202) 366-4831. 

Sincerely, 



Rose A. McMurray ^— ' 
Acting Administrator 



Enclosure 



45 

\ 

OFHCE OF PIPELINE SAFETY ANSWERS TO 

QUESTIONS FOR INCLUSION IN THE COLONIAL 

PIPELINE PUBLIC HEARING RECORD 

QUESTION : 

Section 2020) of the Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Act of 1988 stipulated that the 
Secretary establish minimum standards requiring operators of pipelines to submit an 
inventory of all pipes in the operator's system, along with additional information such 
as the pipe material history and the leak history. TTie inventories were required to be 
submitted to the Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety no later 
than October 31, 1988. What is the status of this mandate by Congress? 

ANSWER : A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would establish the 
inventory requirement has been approved by the Office of the Secretary of 
Transportation. The notice is now being considered by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12291. We will publish the notice for public 
comment as soon as OMB grants approval under the Executive Order. 



46 



nUESTION : 

Without the benefit of information regarding pipeline age, material, leak history, and 
inspection and operation data, what criteria does OPS use for assessing risk in 
implefnenting its risk based pipeline inspection program? 

ANSWER : As of August 1, 1990, the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) transitioned 
from a resource based inspection plan to a risk based inspection plan. This risk based 
plan was sent to the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Transportation on May 30, 1990. The risk based plan currently used by OPS does 
incorporate limited leak history as well as accident data, OPS inspection history, and 
operator compliance history by utilizing, as a management tool, our Pipeline 
Inspection Priority Programs (PIPP 1 and 2) computer programs. OPS recognizes that 
PIPP has limitations caused by the absence of certain information. As noted in the 
answer to the previous question, OPS has developed an NPRM which proposes that 
operators be required to submit definitive information on pipeline age and material, 
along with additional leak history. TTie NPRM also proposes that hazardous hquid 
pipeline operators would be required to provide OPS aimual reports for the first time 
on the characteristics of their pipelines. (Gas distribution, transmission, and gathering 
system operators have been providing annual reports since 1970.) OPS will 
incorporate the additional data into its risk based plan after the rule becomes 
effective. 



47 



QUESTION : 

What criteria does OPS use in issuing Hazardous Facility Orders? What type of 
follow-up is there to ensure that the companies have complied with the order? 

ANSWER : Hazardous Facility Orders are issued where a likelihood of serious harm 
to life or property may exist. OPS employs site inspections and documentation reviews 
to ensure compliance with Hazardous Facility Orders. 



48 



QUESTION : 

In 1987, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that OPS develop 
criteria for determining safe intervals between hydrostatic pressure testings. What is 
the status of OPS's response to this recommendation and when does OPS plan to 
develop and issue such criteria? 

ANSWER : OPS does not believe a blanket requirement is warranted to include 
criteria for determining safe service intervals between hydrostatic tests. Available data 
do not support a positive cost-benefit ratio, limiting the chances for a viable 
rulemaking to implement the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) 
recommendation. In an attempt to resolve the difference of opinion with NTSB, a 
representative of OPS met with a representative of NTSB on February 18, 1993, to 
discuss the disposition of the recommendation (Recommendation P-87-23). The two 
representatives were in general agreement that there is not a need for hydrostatic 
retesting of all pipelines. They also agreed that risk assessment of pipelines or 
pipeline segments based on such factors as type of and age of pipe, leak history, fluid 
transported, personnel training, control systems, population density, and environinental 
conditions should be used on a case-by-case basis to determine when and if a pipeline 
should be hydrostatically retested and the period between retests. As a result, we do 
not intend to develop criteria for determining safe intervals between tests. 

Currently, OPS is developing a process for prioritizing risk and a plan of action for 
using this information to develop an agenda for the OPS regulatory and compliance 
program.. This process is expected to be completed by the end of 1993, and we will 
then assess the priority of developing safe intervals between hydrostatic pressure 
testings. 



49 



QUESTION : 



Hydrostatic pressure testing is the only method which tests pressure integrity and can 
detect defects caused by railroad fatigue and by fluctuating pressures which are 
common in hazardous liquid pipelines. Opponents of hydrostatic pressure testing 
argue that the tests can cause damage to the pipeline which can later cause the 
pipeline to fail. In the opinion of OPS, is this a valid argument against the use of 
hydrostatic pressure testing, or should regular hydrostatic testing be required of 
pipelines which are located in high density population and environmentally sensitive 
areas? 

ANSWER : OPS agrees that hydrostatic testing is the only method which tests the 
pressure integrity of a pipeline and can detect longitudinally oriented cracks, such as 
those defects initiated by railroad fatigue and grown by fluctuating pressures which are 
common in hazardous liquid pipelines. Currently, instrumented inspection devices 
(smart pigs) are not capable of reliably detecting longitudinally oriented cracks in 
pipelines. Opponents of hydrostatic testing technically are correct that such tests can 
damage the pipeline and later cause the pipeline to fail. However this damage and 
subsequent failure, commonly called "pressure reversal," is infrequent. The damage 
may occur at defects nearly large enough to fail during testing and depends on the 
pressure level and the length of time at pressure during the test. 

In the opinion of OPS, the benefit of removing defects large enough to fail during 
hydrostatic testing far outweighs the minimal risk of a failure attributed to pressure 
reversal. - Hydrostatic testing is the preferred action, especially for pipelines that have 
a history of a sequence of failures at similar cracks that have grown by fatigue. 



50 



QUESTION : 



Is there any type of leak detection system that has a reasonable chance of detecting 
the leakage from a crack before the crack reaches the "critical crack stage" and the 
line grossly ruptures? 

ANSWER : At this time, there is no leak detection system that can detect the small 
amount of leakage which occurs from a crack. Industry has extensively compared 
pipeline failures resulting from leaks versus failure resulting from ruptures. The 
conditions that exist in a pipeline may lead to either a leak or a rupture, but in almost 
all cases, a leak is not followed by a rupture. Therefore, it is incorrect to conclude 
that the detection of a leak will prevent a rupture. Typically, ruptures occur without 
a prior leak at the rupture site. Engineering calculations in the field of fracture 
mechanics are available to estimate the likelihood that a defect will leak versus 
rupture if sufficient data are known regarding the pipeline materials and operation. 



51 



QUESTION : 



When the ruptured pipe was excavated, were soil samples taken from below the pipe 
to determine if product other than diesel fuel was leaking prior to the main rupture? 

ANSWER : No, soil samples were not taken. However, OPS believes that the pipeline 
was not leaking at this location prior to the incident based on a review of Colonial's 
operating pressures and the factual report issued by NTSB's metallurgist. 



52 



QUESTION : 



Please describe what Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) are 
and how their use might affect pipeline operation. Also, please provide information 
as to (he extent that SCADA is currently employed by the pipeline industry. 

ANSWER : SCADA systems are installed on many pipehnes utilizing computer 
technology to analyze data, such as pressure, temperature, and delivery flow rates, as 
the data are continuously gathered from remote locations on the pipeline. Computer 
analysis of these data is utilized in day-to-day operating decisions on the pipeline and 
to provide input for real-time models of the pipeline operation which can identify, size, 
and locate leaks. 

The American Petroleum Institute conducted a survey of hazardous liquid pipeline 
companies regarding the use of SCADA systems with a leak detection system (Analysis 
of a Software-Based Pipeline Leak Detection Systems Survey; February 20, 1991). 
One hundred fifty-five companies, representing most of the hazardous liquid volume 
transported by pipeline, reported that about 50 percent of those companies had 
SCADA with a leak detection system. 



53 



QUESTION : 



Virginia is part of the Office of Pipeline Safety's Eastern Region which includes 13 
other states. How do three inspectors effectively cover 14 states? What is the 
percerttage of inspections in which serious violations are observed by the inspectors? 

ANSWER : The Eastern Region annually prioritizes its inspections according to the 
risk based inspection plan referenced above. Accident investigations and follow-up 
inspections to assure that the operator takes adequate remedial measures after an 
accident always have highest priority. It is estimated that the Eastern Region can 
inspect all current jurisdictional inspection pipeline units on the average of a 2.5 to 3 
year interval. Operators identified as highest risk will be inspected at least annually. 
The average inspection interval will increase when OPS begins to regulate hazardous 
liquid pipelines operating below 20 percent of specified minimum yield strength. It 
is estimated that with this new jurisdiction the average interval of inspection will be 
approximately 4 years. On approximately 33 percent of our inspections, probable 
violations of the safety code are found. 



54 



Does a pipeline that extends through several regions over numerous states, such as the 
Colonial pipeline, cause any special inspection and enforcement difOculties given the 
limited number of inspectors available? 

ANSWER : No, Colonial extends through three of our regions and each region is 
responsible for inspection of Colonial pipeline facilities in its territory. Regions share 
information about operators, including those operating in more than one region, by 
utilizing our computer system and by requiring all regions to send copies of accident 
reports and enforcement actions to all other regions. 



55 



QUESTION : 



There is great concern among the residents of the Sugarland Run area who claim 
there is insufficient care in the planning, siting, construction, and operation of 
pipelirtes. How would you reassure these people? 

ANSWER : The Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act does not provide the 
Department of Transportation with the authority to approve the routing of pipeline. 
The Act also does not provide the Department with the authority to regulate land use 
along pipeline rights-of-way. These activities are generally the responsibility of state 
or local government authorities. 

OPS does regulate the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of pipelines. 
OPS has issued a Hazardous Facility Order to Colonial for its 36-inch pipeline which 
restricted the operating pressure to 50 percent of the maximum operating pressure 
between Chantilly, Virginia, and Dorsey Junction, Maryland. T^ie Order also required 
Colonial to develop an internal inspection plan for this section of pipeline. On 
June 4, 1993, OPS accepted the internal inspection plan. Two separate internal 
inspection tools (pigs) have been run. The first pig (magnetic flux leakage tool) was 
run on June 26, 1993. The second pig (slope/deformation tool) was run on July 16, 
1993. The results of these pig runs will be graded by the third party vendor in 
Houston, Texas. The final graded logs will not be available until after mid-August. 
OPS has observed all phases of these pig runs, reviewed the raw data collected, and 
will review the data from the pig-run graded logs. OPS will be present to inspect the 
pipe at all excavations of pipe resulting from the graded logs. OPS will not allow the 
operating pressure in the pipeline to be increased until all required repairs have been 
made to the pipeline, based on data from pig runs. OPS has determined that no 
further remedial actions are necessary. 



56 



QUESTION : 



The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 required pipeline operators to submit emergency 
response plans by February 18, 1993. Facing an overwhelming backlog of rulemakings 
and studies, how does OPS plan to ensure that these plans receive the necessary 
review and evaluation. 

ANSWER : When we were delegated the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) responsibilities, we 
formed an interdisciplinary team from within our base program resources. This team 
has worked closely with other federal agencies having OPA responsibilities to deal 
most effectively with regulatory and implementation issues. The Coast Guard, in 
particular, has provided significant assistance. 

We have requested $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 1994 for contract support to undertake 
analytical tasks which will greatly assist our internal approval process. These tasks will 
include analyzing plans to determine minimal adequacy and areas of suggested 
improvement, performing a quality control check on operator-provided data and 
assumptions, analyzing impacts and consequences of spill scenarios, and identifying the 
location of pipelines in relation to environmentally sensitive areas and drinking water 
intakes. 

Further, the results from analysis of these response plans required by OPA will 
provide data useful in completing other studies and rulemakings that are part of our 
base program activities. 



57 



QUESTION : 

Could stiffer requirements for self-policing and more frequent inspections by the 
pipeline operators substitute for a lack of federal inspection resources? Are adequate 
resources devoted to pipeline safety? 

ANSWER : As part of the growing emphasis on performance measurement and 
reinventing government, OPS will be exploring the possibility of using a pipeline 
operator's existing internal audit program, or lack of such a program, as an additional 
input to PIPP with the intent of improving our inspection prioritization process. 

In the meantime, OPS has developed changes in its compliance program that will 
result in more effective inspections. OPS intends to include coordinated inspections 
(involving more than one OPS region) of an interstate pipeline operator's Operation 
and Maintenance (O&M) plans at the operator's headquarters. OPS believes this 
change will result in improved safety and environmental protection because of the time 
spent observing actual field conditions instead of repetitive O&M plan review which 
often results in only "paperwork" violations. OPS is planning to implement this new 
procedure in Fiscal Year 1994. 

The pipeline safety regulations are written as performance standards. They set a 
minimum level of safety to be attained, allowing the pipeline operator discretion as 
to the method and frequency of inspection and testing to assure the safety of the 
operator's pipelines. We expect an operator to exceed the minimum level, where 
appropriate, based on the operator's determination of the condition of its pipelines. 
During our standard inspections, we ascertain whether an operator's O&M procedures, 
including its inspection and testing programs, are adequate to assure the safety of its 
pipelines. 

In addition, OPS may require an operator subject to compliance action to conduct an 
Operational Reliability Assessment (ORA) of its pipeline. The ORA determines the 
need for and frequency of additional inspections to be conducted by the pipeline 
operator to assure the safety of its pipeline. 

The combined resources of federal and state pipeline safety operations are believed 
to be adequate for pipeline safety. Federal inspection resources are allocated using 
a risk-based inspection plan. Increasingly, states are also using a risk-based plan to 
establish inspection intervals and priorities. 



58 



QUESTION : 



Section 7005 of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 allows 
the Secretary to assess and collect annual fees from the pipeline industry to fund the 
cost of the pipeline safety program. Have the fees been increased since the enactment 
Qf the 1988 Act to cover the cost of achieving the pipeline safety goals of Congress? 

ANSWER : Yes, the fees have increased. The dollar/per mile assessment for both 
gas and liquid pipelines for the last 3 years follows: 

Ygar izas Liquid . 



1990 


$29.22 


$9.28 


1991 


30J7 


13.53 


1992 


43.64 


17.88 



59 



QUESTION : 



What criteria does OPS use in determining whether and how much to fine pipeline 
operators whose pipelines have ruptured? 

ANSWER: If a violation of the pipeline safety regulations has occurred as a result of 
a pipeline accident, the pipeline operator is subject to compliance action. The nature 
and circumstances of the violation would determine the type of compliance action 
appropriate to assure the safe operation of the pipeline system. Civil penalties are 
limited by statute to a maximum of $25,000 a day for each violation and a total of 
$500,000 for any related series of violations. 

In assessing a civil penalty, the following must be considered: (a) the nature, 
circumstances, and gravity of the violation; (b) the degree of culpability; (c) the history 
of prior violations; (d) the ability to continue in business; (e) any good faith in 
attempting to achieve compliance; (f) the ability to pay the penalty; and (g) such other 
matters as justice may require. 



60 



QUESTION : 

Please explain how the membership of the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards 
Committee is determined. Are members prohibited from having a vested financial 
interest in the pipeline industry while serving on the board? 

ANSWER : As directed by Congress, the Research and Special Programs 
Administration (RSPA) consults with representatives of the National Association of 
Regulatory Utility Commissioners and National Association of Pipeline Safety 
Representatives in filling government vacancies on the Committee and with industry 
representatives (e.g., American Petroleum Institute, American Gas Association) in 
filling industry vacancies. RSPA consults with other associations, such as the National 
Association of Corrosion Engineers, Wilderness Society, and National Fire Protection 
Association, in filling public vacancies. 

Committee members are generally not prohibited from having a vested financial 
interest in the pipeline industry since by definition members must be experienced in 
the safety regulation of pipeline transportation or technically qualified by training, 
experience, or knowledge in one or more fields of engineering applied in pipeline 
transportation. The Pipeline Safety Act of 1992, however, now requires that at least 
one of the public members should have no financial interest in the pipeline, 
petroleum, or natural gas industries. 



61 



OTIESTION : 

What is the reason behind proposing to relax the threshold reporting requirements for 
hazardous liquid pipeline accidents by raising the threshold from $5,000 to $50,000? 
Is damage to the environment calculated in this figure? 

ANSWER : President Bush's moratorium to review and revise existing regulations to 
eliminate unnecessary and overly burdensome requirements encompassed a review of 
the telephonic reporting requirements for hazardous liquid pipeline accidents. 
Because the $5,000 rei>orting requirement requires the reporting of minor accidents, 
RSPA proposed to increase the reporting threshold to $50,000, the same level as 
required for natural gas pipelines. Other reporting criteria will remain the same, 
assuring the reporting of significant accidents. These criteria require accidents to be 
reported that involve death of any person; personal injury requirng hospitalization; fire 
or explosion; or pollution of any stream, river, or similar body of water. 
Environmental clean-up and recovery of lost product are included in the threshold 
amount calculation. 



62 



QUESTION : 

How do you respond to Mr. Robert Rackleffs assertion that "The zeal of pipeline 
companies to prevent state regulation of pipelines has ensured that the OPS program 
with state regulators will not expand in coming years?" Has OPS encountered 
substantial lobbying by pipeline companies opposed to self-regulation by states? 

ANSVv'ER : RSPA disagrees with Mr. Rackleffs assertion. Over the last several years, 
OPS has very actively promoted expanded state safety jurisdiction to cover all 
intrastate gas and hazardous liquid pipelines as part of the phase-in of a performance- 
based formula for allocating grant funds to state pipeline safety -programs. RSPA is 
not aware of any industry lobbying efforts to reduce or dilute state regulation of 
pipeline safety. 



63 



QUESTION: 



Are states allowed to create and enforce environmental and safety standards that are 
more festrictive than those of the federal government in order to protect sensitive and 
unique environmental and cultural resources from damage from pipeline accidents. 

ANSWER : The pipeline safety statutes provide that an agency of a state that certifies 
it has adopted and enforces the federal standards, and has assumed jurisdiction over 
intrastate facilities, may adopt additional or more stringent safety standards for 
intrastate pipeline transportation, if such standards are compatible with the federal 
minimum standards. However, no state agency may adopt or continue in force any 
such standards applicable to interstate transmission facilities. 

Further, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and amendments to that statute by 
OP A, do not preempt states or political subdivisions from imposing requirements or 
liability with respect to the discharge of oil or hazardous substances into any waters 
within a state, or with respect to related removal activities. In fact, many states have 
enacted more stringent requirements for response plaiming and exercises and have 
imlimited liability for costs or damages associated with spills affecting environmentally 
sensitive areas. 



64 



QUESTION : 



According to Department of Transportation data contained in the Annual Report on 
Pipeline Safety, incidents reported to the Office of Pipeline Safety involving natural gas 
pipelines appear to be on the decline, while incidents involving hazardous liquid pipelines 
appear to be on the rise. To what do you attribute these differences in trends? Do you 
^gree with Mr. Donald Brinkley of Colonial Pipeline Company who testified that internal 
corrosion is not a problem in hazardous liquid pipelines? 

ANSWER : In 1984, the property damage threshold for reporting natural gas incidents was 
increased from $5,000 to $50,000 (at present, the threshold for hazardous liquid accidents 
is still $5,000). That change resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of reportable 
gas incidents reported in the 1984-1986 time frame. Since then, there a ppears to be a 
continuing decline in the number of reportable gas incidents and an increase in liquid 
accidents. However, we would be remiss in declaring this a statistically significant trend, 
since there has been some fluctuation over the years (for example, in 1990, there were 199 
reportable gas incidents, but in 1991, 233 gas incidents were reported). 

A number of safety initiatives have been implemented over the last several years that may 
be contributing to the apparent reduction in natural gas accidents—increased use of one-call 
notification systems to prevent accidents caused by outside force damage, the leading cause 
of pipeline accidents; enhanced training of federal and state safety insjjectors; better 
education of pipeline operators; and improved safety practices. With respect to liquid 
pipelines, there is greater recognition of pipeline safety and particularly environmental 
protection requirements due to new mandates imposed by OPA. The resulting increase 
in operator awareness of reporting requirements may be contributing to more liquid 
accidents being reported than would otherwise have been reported. 

In 1992, 5 percent of all reportable liquid accidents were attributed to internal corrosion. 
RSPA will be assessing the relative risk of internal corrosion in its risk assessment 
prioritization process. 



65 



QUESTION : 



In your testimony you state that pipelines are the safest form of transportation of 
petroleum products. Yet Mr. Rackleff states that OPS data on pipeline spills support 
his assertion that pipelines spill more product than water carriers. How do you 
respond to this conflicting testimony? Has DOT or OPS conducted a safety analysis 
comparing different modes of petroleum transportation to support its position? Please 
provide the data for the record. 

ANSWER : Over the years, RSPA has made statements based on data collected by 
the Department to the effect that pipelines are one of the safest modes of 
transportation, taking into account the numbers of fatalities, injuries, and property 
damage. With the increasing focus on the environment, we have become concerned 
about the lack of data on environmental damage from hazardous liquid pipeline spills. 
In the past, we have not collected data on gathering lines and lines operating at 20 
percent or less of specified minimum yield strength. We are moving toward improving 
our data collection in these areas. We have been in contact with Mr. Rackleff and are 
trying to reconcile data differences. 



66 



OI lESTION : 



The ruptured pipeline was under approximately nine feet of fill, which is substantially 
more than what is required by 49 CFR Part 195 Section 195.248 of the Pipeline Safety 
Regulations. Section 195.210(b) requires that pipelines be located a minimum of 50 
feet from dwellings and buildings where people congregate unless an additional twelve 
mches of cover is provided. What effect does twelve inches of extra cover have in 
ensuring public safety when an additional sLx feet of cover resulted in an accident such 
as the Colonial spill? Does twelve inches of additional cover justify the construction 
of a pipeline less than fifty feet to a dwelling? What would the results of the Colonial 
spill have been if the pipe had ruptured fifty feet or less from the facade of a 
residential building? 

ANSWER : The purpose of adding extra cover over a buried pipeline above the 3-foot 
requirement is to further protect the pipeline against physical damage from excavation 
activities, the leading cause of pipeline accidents. Although excavation can damage 
a pipeline regardless of its burial depth, NTSB has not determined whether the 
damage to Colonial's pipeline occurred during or after the additional 6 feet of cover 
was installed. The damage may have occurred during construction of the pipeline, 
before it was initially covered. Or an excavator at a later date may have damaged the 
pipeline during other construction activities, including regrading of the overlying 
terrain, thus adding to the initial cover. 

Twelve inches of extra cover does not justify the construction of a pipeline less than 
50 feet from a dwelling. Operators avoid locating a pipeline within 50 feet of a 
building. '" 

Although we can only speculate, if a residential building had been within 50 feet of 
the Colonial pipeline spill, the results may not have differed significantly from the 
actual event. The spilled liquid fortunately did not vaporize rapidly. So it did not 
ignite, which is the main danger presented by spills of flammable liquids near 
residential buildings. 



67 

Mr. BORSKI. We would like to welcome our next witness, Allen 
Li, Associate Director, General Accounting Office. He is accom- 
panied by Mr. Ron Wood, Assistant Director, General Accounting 
Office. 

[Witness sworn.] 

TESTIMONY OF ALLEN LI, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GENERAL 
ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ACCOMPANIED BY RON WOOD, AS- 
SISTANT DIRECTOR, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BARRY 
KIME, SENIOR EVALUATOR, AND DR. MANOHAR SINGH, CON- 
SULTANT ENGINEER 

Mr. Li. We have a few graphics today that may take us a few 
seconds to set up. 

Mr. Chairman, it is good to see you again. Allow me to introduce 
my colleagues. On my rig^t is Ron Wood. Barry Kime will be help- 
ing us wi^ our graphics. Also with us today is Dr. Manohar Singh, 
our consultant engineer. 

Today we will discuss our September 1992 report which was re- 
ferred to earUer today on the role that instrumented internal in- 
spection devices can play in improving pipeline safety. While our 
report focused on pipelines, our reference to smart pigs has bearing 
on Uquid pipelines as well. We will also speak today about the 
pipeline accident in Reston, Virginia. 

A smart pig is the only pipeline inspection technique that can de- 
tect internal eind external corrosion without excavating the pipe. In 
front of me is a photograph of a smart pig. This device is propelled 
through the pipeline to detect flaws like gouges and dents. 

0\ir other photograph shows the capability of this technology. At 
the top is a photograph showing the corroded section of pipeline. 
At the bottom is a strip chart that shows the results of the smart 
pig identifying the location of corrosion. 

Pipeline corrosion is the second leading cause of natural gas 
pipeline incidents. Damage caused by accidental excavation is the 
number one cause. However, smart pigs do have their limitations. 
They csinnot detect defects such as longitudinal cracks and metal 
loss in pipe welds. 

Furthermore, while many pipelines can accommodate smart pigs, 
others cannot because of sharp bends in the pipeline. Those re- 
sponding to our survey reported that in 1991, me i>er mile cost of 
using smart pigs ranged fi:^m $650 to $2,400. 

As you heard today there are currently no Federal regulations 
governing the use of smart pigs or tlie frequency of smart pig in- 
spections. In addition, there are no Federal regulations setting 
forth, frequency criteria for when pipelines must be hydrostatically 
retested or requiring installation of remotely controlled operating 
valves. The absence of Federal regulations cannot be attributed to 
the lack of recommendations. 

As you just heard, NTSB has investigated numerous pipeline in- 
cidents and has made several recommendations £dmed at enhanc- 
ing pipeline safety. Thev recommended that new or replacement 
pipelines be capable of accommodating smart pigs. They rec- 
ommended that RSPA require installation of remotely-operated 
valves on pipelines that transport hazardous Uquids. 



68 

In response to our report recommendations, RSPA issued the fea- 
sibility study on smart pigs. Also, they have initiated a rule-mak- 
ing to develop the regulations mandated by the 1988 act. This re- 
quires pipelines to accommodate smart pigs. 

My final point: The Colonial Pipeline Company plans to use 
smart pigs as part of their agreement with RSPA. In response to 
the hazardous facility order it received after the Reston spill. Colo- 
nial submitted a plan stating that it would inspect the pipeline seg- 
ment between Chantilly, Virginia, and Dorsey Junction, Maryland 
with a caUper pig. The caUper pig may identify dents, wrinkles, 
and flat spots. After using the caliper pig. Colonial plans to run a 
magnetic pig. 

RSPA told us the Colonial Pipeline Company has made heavy 
use of smart pigs in the past. They used a caUper pig on this seg- 
ment in 1989. However, they have never inspected it with a mag- 
netic-flux pig. 

Some other matters of interest to the subcommittee: RSPA told 
us Colonial has not hydrostatically tested this segment since 1980. 
It does not have remotely-controlled operating valves in the trans- 
mission line between the Chantilly and Dorsey pumping stations. 
Such valves located closer together could have reduced the amount 
of spill. However, there are no federal regulations requiring the use 
of smart pigs, periodic hydrostatic testing, or the installation of re- 
motely-controlled valves. 

In conclusion, aging pipelines are of concern because there is a 
higher risk that they will result in incidents. The Reston incident 
points out that even relatively newer pipelines are subject to fail- 
ure. The true cause of the failure is yet to be determined. However 
that incident points to the necessity for pipeline companies to peri- 
odically inspect their pipelines to identify defects and flaws and 
take the necessary corrective action. 

We believe our approach incorporating smart pigs can strengthen 
the federal strategy to ensure pipeline safety and minimize inci- 
dent damage. 

This concludes my statement. 

Mr. BORSKI. While natural gas pipelines show a reassuring pic- 
ture of declining incidents and most incidents are caused by out- 
side forces, hazardous Uquid pipes show an alarming pattern of 
steady increases in incidents during the past three years because 
of corrosion, defective construction and incorrect operations. What 
do you think accounts for these different patterns in hazardous gas 
and Uquid lines? 

Mr. LI. We did not look into the causes of why hazardous Uquid 
pipelines are having these problems in our report. However, in our 
prepared statement today, we included a chart that shows the 
number of incidents in the hazardous liquid pipeline area has been 
steadily going up. 

I speculate that this has something to do with not only increas- 
ing housing development near the lines, but also the corrosive na- 
ture of the liquids going through the pipelines. It has taken some 
time for that corrosion to take place and, unfortunately, it may be 
showing up now. 

Mr. BoRSKi. In yoiu* testimony you say CongressionaUy man- 
dated regulations have been delayed because DOT is devoting re- 



69 

sources to other work? Can ^ou describe what that other work has 
been and can you give an opinion on the safety benefits of the other 
work compared with the regulations mandate by the Congress? 

Mr. Ll. We did not look at the totcdity of RSPA's work and prior- 
ities. When we asked them why there was a delay in conducting 
the study, they said other priorities were impacting their work. My 
belief is that RSPA does indeed have, as was indicated earlier, 
much on their plate. Unfortimately, this is a safety concern that 
needs to be addressed. 

I beUeve, Mr. Chairman, that the pace at which some of these 
rule-makings are taking place is much too slow and I believe the 
subcommittee can help expedite that. 

Mr. BORSKI. Accorduig to your testimony, Colonial used a caliper 
pig on this segment of me pipeline in 1989, but the pipeline cannot 
easily accommodate a magnetic flax or ultrasonic smart pig. Are 
the launching requirements different for these devices? 

Mr. Wood. My understanding is that caliper pigs have arms on 
them that can open up to various sizes depending on the pipeline. 
A magnetic-flux pig can only go thru one size pipeline sucn as a 
32-incn pipeline. 

Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Inhofe? 

Mr. Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Li, in your testimony you stated that the overall safety 
records of pipelines is relatively good in comparison with other 
transportation modes of hazardous materials. I assume you have 
statistical data that backs that up. And when you are comparing 
to other modes, you are talking about water carriers, per gallon 
spills, and this kind of statistic to show that this is true? 

Mr. Ll. Yes, sir. The information actually came from a report 
written by the Transportation Resources Board. What they did, Mr. 
Inhofe, is that they compared other modes of transportation that 
would transport hazardous Uquids. We are talking here in terms of 
a product ton-mile unit. As a result of transportation distances, the 
pipelines did turn out to be a safer mode of transportation than for 
example rail cars. 

Just to add, the other aspects of safety referred to in that report 
were on fatalities. The number of fatalities using pipelines was 
lower than other means of transportation. 

Mr. Inhofe. If the Chairman will allow me, it is not directly re- 
lated, but you might remember. How long have you been in your 
position? 

Mr. Li. I have been at GAO for 14 years, sir. 

Mr. Inhofe. You can recall four years ago we had the problem 
of injecting hazardous WEiste materials into oil pipelines. Do you re- 
member that incident? 

Mr. Ll. No, sir, I don't. 

Mr. Inhofe. According to your survey, you reported that the cost 
of using smart pigs with between $650 and $2,000 a mile in 1991? 

Mr. Ll. That is right. 

Mr. Inhofe. Do these cost estimates apply not only to natural 
gas pipelines, but also hazardous Uquids? 

Mr. Ll. No, they don't. However, hazardous liquid and gas pipe- 
lines can both use the magnetic-flux pig. The ultrasound pig needs 
a liquid medium. So if you are inspecting a natural gas pipeline 



70 

with an ultrasonic pig, you would have to inject some liquid in it. 
But it is true, you can use pigs for both liquid and natural gas. 

Mr. INHOFE. The range of the $650 to $2,000 is quite a range. 
Which is more expensive, the use of that device with natxiral gas 
or liquid? 

Mr. Li. Our report and those numbers you referenced, $650 to 
$2,400, only dealt with nat\iral gas so I cannot answer from that 
perspective. However, we do know that the cost is variable. And 
the reason why it is variable is that the diameter of the pipeline 
that you are testing has a bearing on the cost. The other variables 
woiUd be the bends in the pipe, and how much time it would take 
for you to do the analysis. 

These people analyzing the inspection data are paid by the hour. 
So tide longer you run the inspection, the more money it would cost. 
The level of smart pig competition also has a bearing on the overall 
cost per mile. If you nave many vendors at that point in time who 
are willing to do the job, then that price will in essence go down. 

Mr. iNHOFE. TTiank you. 

Mr. Ll. You are welcome. 

Mr. BORSKI. The gentlewoman from Virginia. 

Ms. Byrne. Have you done any studies about the cost of jperiodic 
pigging of these lines as opposed to the cleanup of the spills? 

Mr. Ll. No, we have not. 

Ms. Byrne. When we talk about the size necessary for this type 
of smart pig that you have in front of you there, the reason I un- 
derstand that it w£is not used or could not be used on this particu- 
lar section is that pipe, while it was 36 inches in diameter, had a 
thirty-two-inch valve on it. 

Mr. Ll. That is our understanding. We have asked OPS to pro- 
vide that information and that is correct. There are some changes 
in pipeline diameter that make pigging very difficult. However, we 
understand that Colonial has told kSPA that they intend to make 
the line pig-able. 

Ms. Byrne. Do you know why you would put a smaller valve on 
a bigger pipe? 

Mr. Ll. No, ma'am, I don't know the reason. 

Ms. Byrne. When we look at the pipeline regulations, we tend 
to lump natural gas pipelines in with liquid pipelines. Is there any 
indication that Uquid pipelines of the type that we are talking 
about are more corrosive, for example, on the interior of the pipe 
than natural gas? 

Mr. Ll. Liquid pipelines are more corrosive. The type of material 
being transporteo, because of some of the chemicals being trans- 
ported, will in essence create more corrosion. Water is present in 
many of these products. 

Ms. Byrne. Would that suggest to you that majrbe in terms of 
standards that we should set separate standards for Uquid as op- 
posed to natural gas? 



71 

Mr. Ll. There are already separate Acts, and the regulations deal 
separately with liquid and natural gas pipelines. 

Ms. Byrne. Thank you. 

Mr. BORSKI. There being no further questions, Mr. Li, thank you 
for your testimony. It was very helpful as always. 

[Subsequent to the hearing, additional questions were submitted 
to Mr. Li. The questions and responses follow:] 



72 



GAO 



United §Ute* 

General Acooonting Ofllce 

Wuhlntton, D.C. 20548 



Besonrccs, Commiuilty, mnd 
EcoDomic Development Division 



July 9, 1993 

Mr, Jack Wells 
Staff Director 
Subcommittee on Investigations 

and Oversight 
Committee on Public Works and 

Transportation 
House of Representatives 

Dear Jack: 

Enclosed are our answers to 
the three questions contained 
in Chairman Borski's June 18, 1993, 
letter relating to our testimony on 
the use of instrumented internal 
inspection devices in pipelines 
and on the rupture of the Colonial 
Pipeline Company's hazardous liquid 
pipeline in Reston, Virginia. We 
appreciated the opportunity to 
testify and hope that the heaijings 
will have a positive impact o^n 
pipeline safety. 



Sincerely, 



Allen Li 

Associate Director, 
Transportation Issues 

Enclosure 



73 

ENCLOSURE-. ENCLOSURE 



1. Ouestlon. Based on GAO's knowledge of the capabilities of 
instrumented internal inspection devices, and after seeing 
the anomalies present in the section of the excavated 
pipeline, could these anomalies in your opinion have been 
detected by an instrumented internal inspection device 
prior to the rupture? 

GAP Reply. Instrumented inspection devices, such as 
magnetic- flux smart pigs, are designed to detect pipe flaws 
such as corrosion, mechanical damage, gouges, and dents. 
Mechanical damage and dents were evident on the ruptured 
pipeline. Therefore, we believe an instrumented inspection 
device could have detected these anomalies. Our view is 
further supported by a RSPA official. He recently informed 
us that an official of Vetco Pipeline Services, a 
manufacturer of instrumented internal inspection devices, 
examined the ruptured pipeline and stated that an 
instrumented internal inspection device would have detected 
the anomalies prior to the rupture. 

2. Question. In your testimony you state that a possible 
reason for an increase in the number of incidents relating 
to hazardous liquid pipelines is internal corrosion. Mr. 
Donald Brinkley of the Colonial Pipeline Company testified 
that internal corrosion has never to his knowledge been a 
problem with Colonial's pipelines or in the hazardous 
liquid pipeline industry. How do you respond to this? 

GAP Reply. In response to a question at the hearing, I 
stated that we had not looked into the causes of the 
increases in hazardous liquid pipeline incidents. I 
speculated, however, that one possible reason for this 
increase was internal corrosion. My response was based on 
incident information reported by pipeline companies to 
RSPA/PPS which is included in RSPA's annual reports on 
pipeline safety and the fact that the nation's pipelines 
are quite old. The RSPA annual reports for 1989 to 1992 
show that the percent of hazardous liquid pipeline 
incidents caused by internal corrosion increased more than 
any other cause from 1989 to 1991 before decreasing in 
1992. Incidents are reported to RSPA when they meet RSPA's 
reporting criteria and include incidents on any part of the 
pipeline system, including equipment on tank farms and pump 
stations. 

Our review of incident reports submitted by Colonial 
Pipeline Company to RSPA from October 1985 to February 1993 
showed that Colonial reported seven incidents on their 
pipeline system caused by internal corrosion. The reports 
show that the incidents occurred on equipment at tank farms 
and pump stations as opposed to being on the pipelines 



74 



ENCLOSURE ' ^ ENCLOSURE 



themselves. Mr. Brinkley's comment apparently is referring 
only to the actual pipeline and not the total pipeline 
system. 

3. Question. Mr. Robert Rackleff stated In his testimony that 
transportation of petroleum products through pipelines is 
not as safe a means of transport as by water carriers. In 
your written testimony you state that "the overall safety 
record of pipelines is relatively good in comparison with 
that of other modes that carry hazardous materials . " What 
do your data show in terms of comparing pipelines with 
water carriers? 

GAO Reply. My statement was a general comment on the 
overall safety record of pipelines and not a detailed 
comparison of the different transportation modes as in Mr. 
Rackleff 's testimony. Also my statement was based on 
fatalities and injuries incurred by the various modes that 
transport hazardous materials, whereas Mr. Rackleff 's 
testimony was based on the number and amount of hazardous 
material spills by the various modes and the resulting 
damage to the environment. Nevertheless, as discussed 
below, even though we used different data bases, our 
supporting data shows that transporting hazardous materials 
by water carriers was safer than transporting hazardous 
materials by pipelines, which is in line with Mr. 
Rackleff 's testimony. 

My statement was based on a Transportation Research Board 
report^ which showed that between 1982 and 1985 hazardous 
liquid pipeline accidents resulted in fewer annual 
fatalities and injuries on average than any of the 
alternative modes transporting hazardous materials except 
by water. The report goes on to say that when fatalities 
and injuries (casualties) are adjusted for ton miles of 
hazardous material product carried, average annual rail 
tank car and tank truck casualty rates were 100 and 40 
times greater, respectively, than casualty rates for liquid 
pipelines; and that the only safer mode was water tanker. 
Data in recent National Transportation Safety Board annual 
reports compare transportation fatalities for all modes and 
show that the number of pipeline fatalities is small in 
comparison with other transportation modes. 



^ Pipelines and Public Safety. Special Report 219. Transportation 
Research Board, National Research Council. 



75 

Mr. BORSKi. We would like to welcome Mr. Donald R. Brinkley, 
President and CEO, Colonial Pipeline Company; accompanied by 
Victor A. Yarborough, Director of Engineering; and Harold R. 
Melendy, Senior Manager of the Eastern Division. 

[Witness sworn.] 

TESTIMONY OF DONALD R. BRINKLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, 
COLONIAL PIPELINE COMPANY, ACCOMPANIED BY VICTOR 
A. YARBOROUGH, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING, COLONIAL 
PIPELINE COMPANY; AND HAROLD R. MELENDY, SENIOR 
MANAGER OF THE EASTERN DIVISION, COLONIAL PIPELINE 
COMPANY 

Mr. Brinkley. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Donald R. 
Brinkley. I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Colo- 
nial Pipeline Company. 

Colonial is a Delaware and Virginia corporation that operates 
pipeline faciUties through 14 states in the southeastern and east- 
em United States. Our pipeline system transports nearly 80 mil- 
Uon gallons of petroleum products per day to serve the needs of the 
citizens of these and surrounding states; this amount represents 
roughly 12 percent of the United States' daily consumption of pe- 
troleum products. 

In the State of Virginia, the petroleum products dehvered by Co- 
lonial accounted for approximately 80 percent of the gasoline, fuel 
oil, and kerosene consumed during 1989, the last year for which 
consumption data is generally available. 

First, Colonial deeply regrets the fact that this incident occurred. 
We apologize for the inconvenience and concern that this accident 
inflicted on the community despite our best efforts to mitigate its 
effects. 

At 0848 on Simday, March 28, our Line 3 suffered a catastrophic 
failure between Chantilly Station and Dorsey Jimction, Maryland. 
This failure immediately activated alarms in our control center in 
Atlanta, and the Line 3 controller initiated shutdown of the line 
from Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Chantilly Station was shut down and blocked in at 0850 and 
Dorsey Station, the downstream station, was run imtil it went 
down on low suction pressure at 0855. 

At 0905, Colonial received a call from the Fairfax County Fire 
Department advising us of the leak location. Local response teams 
were dispatched to the site, the corporate emergency response team 
was activated, and maintenance and spill contractors were called 
in, all in accordance with Colonial's Contingency Plan. 

At peak activity, we had 110 Colonial employees and 300 con- 
tractor employees on scene, along with sufficient equipment to 
properly mount containment and recovery operations. 

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the EPA, the 
USCG, the Fedrfax County Safety Forces, and the other nearly 40 
Federal, State, and local agencies who play a role in this response. 

Through all of our efforts, I believe that we were able to produce 
a timely, effective recovery operation that served to mitigate the 
immediate impact of the spill. Within five days, recovery was es- 
sentially complete, with recovery of over 355,000 gallons from a 
total release of 407,000 gallons. That is a recovery rate of about 87 



76 

percent and incidentally it is one that we have experienced in other 
similar situations before. 

Although the product recovery phase has been completed, envi- 
ronmental remediation has just begun and Colonial and its contrac- 
tors will continue these efforts until the environment has been fully 
restored. 

I presume that the reason for this hearing being convened is to 
address the questions of what happened smd what can we do to 
prevent another happening. What occurred is painfully obvious to 
us at Colonial. We nave seen this type of damage at Simpsonville, 
South Carolina; at Orange County, Virginia; at Craney Island, Vir- 
ginia; at Linden, New Jersey; at Lost Mountain, Greorgia, and of 
course in its most egregious form at Centreville, Virginia. 

The cause was third-party damage through improperly operated 
excavating equipment. In this instance, the culprit looks like a 
backhoe, judging from the long longitudinal scrapes and the Na- 
tional Transportation Safety Board metallurgical report indicating 
traces of foreign, high-chrome steel in the origin area. At this point 
in time, we have no idea as to who might be responsible for these 
misdeeds, so let's turn to the second question: ^Hiat can we do to 
minimize the chances of a recurrence? 

We have four suggestions. First, strengthen the one-call systems. 
Since the advent of these systems in the late 1970s, a lot of third- 
party accidents have been avoided. But as I recounted in my writ- 
ten testimony, many contractors violate the one-call laws. 

The HLPSA amendments of 1992 provide for criminal sanctions 
that result in serious harm, but these are properly cumbersome. 
We suggest that DOT be given authority to levy substantial civil 
penalties for an excavator's failure to use one-caU systems, regard- 
less of the damage caused by that failure. 

Second, the Ou Pollution Act provides for civil penalties of up to 
$100 a barrel against the owner or operator of a facility that has 
an oil spill. The statute should embody the flexibiHty to impose 
that penalty upon a responsible party, even if it is different from 
the owner/operator. 

Third, as illustrated by our experience at Centreville, 
Simpsonville, Lost Mountain, £uid many other instances, most con- 
tractors have no pollution liabiHty insurance and they have assets 
insufficient to cover damages they are likely to incur in an en- 
croachment incident. The contractor working in or near pipeline 
easements or the person hiring the contractor should be required 
to demonstrate proper finsmcial responsibility, including proof of in- 
surance coverage for pollution or environmental damage. 

Pipeline operators should be given authority to seek injunctive 
reUef in Federal court to prevent excavation in its easements if 
third parties cannot provide evidence of financial responsibility. 

And fourth, local governments can also play an important role in 
pipeline safety by using their land use regulatory authority to re- 
strict unnecessary construction in pipeline easements. Pipeline 
companies such as Colonial have no autnority to restrict or bar con- 
struction in their easements unless the construction actually inter- 
feres with the operation of the pipeline. 

If local governments were to consider as part of the approval 
process for site plans and building permits the need to reduce the 



77 

number of encroachments into utility easements, pipeline safety 
would be promoted by reducing the opportunity for third-party 
damage. 

In closing, I would like to stress that when leaks occur, the pipe- 
line operator is in the final analysis one of the most severely dam- 
aged parties. Certainly incidents such as the one we are discussing 
today cost millions of dollars of Colonial's money to correct, but 
more importantly, they immeasurably damage our corporate rep- 
utation. We try very hard to prevent them. 

Colonial beheves that the lessons of these incidents will likely be 
that Federal, State, and local governments can do much more to 
aid pipeline companies in their efforts to prevent third-party dam- 
age to interstate pipeline facilities. The efforts of pipeline operators 
to regularly patrol their lines and to have ground personnel deal 
directly with third parties who wish to encroach on pipeline rights 
of way are, of course, our first lines of defense. 

However, policies that provide swift and certain penalties against 
violators of one-call statutes that ensure that only fiinancially se- 
cure, reputable contractors work near their utiUty lines and that 
promote sensible land use policies near such lines will aid us in the 
prevention of these accidents. 

One last point, Mr. Chairman. You will be hearing later fi*om the 
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, which is an en- 
tity created by Congress to coordinate multi-State efforts to reduce 
pollution and the potential for pollution in the Potomac. 

For the record, let me state that Colonial was not asked by the 
commission to provide detailed information regarding its operations 
in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Since it is a public entity, 
one would expect that the broad, sweeping, and in some cases erro- 
neous conclusions contained in its testimony were based on soimd 
technical data buttressed by scientific studies or extensive fact 
finding by the staff. 

Colonial stands ready to meet with the commission or any other 
competent State or Federal authority to discuss our operations. 
However, we strongly object to some of the conclusions drawn by 
the commission and question their basis in fact. 

We will stand ready to answer any questions that you may have, 
Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. BoRSKl. Thank you very much, Mr. Brinkley. 

Mr. Brinkley, when you bmlt your 36-inch pipeline in 1980, you 
were famihar with the Trans-Alaska pipeline which had recently 
been completed; is that correct? 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes. 

Mr. BORSKI. Were you aware that the Trans-Alaskan pipeline 
had been designed to be inspected by smart pigs? 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes, we were. 

Mr. BoRSKi. Could you tell us why you didn't design your 36-inch 
line to allow it to be inspected by sm£u*t pigs? 

Mr. Brinkley. Colonial Pipefine Company has probably had as 
much experience as anyone in the industry in using smart pigs. We 
began using smart pigs on an extensive basis in 1985 starting with 
those lines that were the oldest lines in our system. 

And we are still continxiing a program of running smart pigs in 
all of our systems and it is now very close to being complete. 



78 

We prioritized the lines by a number of criteria, including what 
lines appeared to have the most corrosion-potential for corrosion 
damage, which ones were the oldest and hence the coatings were 
perhaps not quite as good as those newer lines. 

The last line in our priority Ust was line three from Greensboro, 
North Carolina, to Dorsey Junction, Maryland and the reason for 
that is that it was our newest line. It is still by pipeline standards 
quite a new line. It was constructed in 1980 so it is only 13 years 
old. During that ensuing time as a result of a lot of construction 
in and around Northern Virginia, we have had ample opportunity 
to inspect that line visually and we find that the cathodic protec- 
tion is in very good shape. The coating is in excellent condition and 
all of those observations gave us every opportunity to beUeve that 
we had the lines correctly prioritized. 

All of Colonial's system is piggable. Even that line is piggable, 
but it is not piggable by a magnetic flux pig. We have run caliper 
pigs, which are just another kmd of smart pig. They tell you a few 
different things. 

The reason was that during the time that that line was con- 
structed in 1980, there was a single line. The original 32-inch line 
that was being used to move products from the Gulf Coast into this 
part — Northern Virginia and on into New York Harbor, was over 
subscribed and was being operated at its absolute capacity. 

Those pump stations were in use on that 32-inch line until the 
36-inch Ime was completed and then it was cut into alternate pimip 
stations. So it is not a case of having a valve that is 32 inches. It 
is the case of having pump station piping on this particular seg- 
ment of the line that is 32 inch rather than 36 inch. 

In 1989, Colonial's management devised a plan for the 1990s, a 
long-range plan that enumerated a number of things that we were 
going to do to increase the integrity of the pipeline system and to 
address what we felt were upcoming environmental issues. One of 
those projects which was in that plan and is still in that plan and 
was to be completed on an unspecified time frame within that pe- 
riod of time was to modify the line from Greensboro to Dorsey 
Junction so that we could run a magnetic flux pig in it. 

That still is a part of our plan and there is probably some reason 
to beUeve that that plan might be somewhat accelerated now. 

Mr. BORSKI. Let me ask you, sir, NTSB foimd a three-quarter 
inch deep dent on the under side of the pipe 28 feet north of where 
the rupture occurred. The pipe at that point was resting even 
though your specifications require one foot of padding on the bot- 
tom of the pipe between the pipe and any rock. Can you explain 
that? 

Mr. Brinkley. While we attempt to make certain that the pipe- 
line is properly padded when it is being laid in a rocky area, none 
of those specifications are ever 100 percent successful in keeping 
pipe, particxilarly large diameter pipe off a rock. 

That particular dent would not have required immediate repair 
by the standards under which we repair and maintain pipelines. 
We have — ^we have had a number of instances, obviously when you 
have 5,300 mUes of pipe, you are going to occasionally find it sit- 
ting on a rock. 



79 

We have never had an instance where that kind of problem has 
ever caused a catastrophic failure such as the kind that occurred 
at Reston. On the other hand, we have had many, many instances 
where pipe has been damaged either immediately or perhaps as 
much as 10 years before on the top of the pipe and that is the kind 
of failure that we have had in this instance. 

Mr. BORSKI. Let me ask you if I may in light of the recent acci- 
dent, does Colonial have any plans to instaU additional remotely 
operated valves? 

Mr. Brinkley. At the moment we don't. Let me speak to that. 
Remotely operated valves are, at first glance seem to be — and clos- 
er valve space, let me take the two things together. 

Mr. BORSKI. Please. 

Mr. Brinkley. Seems to be the panacea for a great number of 
things. However, the line fill of a 36-inch pipeline is 5,300 barrels 
a mue so if you had valves a mile apart, it wovild still be able to 
spill 5,300 barrels and that is a very big spill. 

In liquid pipelines, the valve spacing is not quite as simple as 
just adding up the volume of product oetween one valve and the 
next one because the amoimt that is released in an accident such 
as this is composed of two things: The amount of liquid that is re- 
leased fi*om the pipe in order to reduce the pressure to atmospheric 
pressure and in this particular instance, at the pressures that this 
pipeline was operating, that is something like 2,300 barrels. 

So even if you had the valves right beside one another and a leak 
in between, you would still have 2,300 barrels of loss. The rest of 
this spill is a fact of geography: How much product will drain down 
fi-om both sides of me place where the leak occurred in order to 
equaUze the pressure? 

In this particular case, if there had been a remotely operated 
valve at Potomac River and if it had been closed immediately at 
the same time that the rest of the remotely operated valves were 
closed, it would have made no difference whatsoever in the amount 
rele£ised. 

In fact, if we had had a valve three miles downstream and three 
miles upstream of the leak site, it would have made no difference 
no matter how fast those valves could have been closed. 

So it is — ^when we are talking about very large pipelines, a 
breach of a pipeline is going to cause a very large spill, no matter 
how close the valves are for any practical purposes. Vic, do you 
have anything? 

Mr. Yarborough. I agree with Mr. Brinkley. It all depends on 
the topography of the pipeline as it goes over hills and in the val- 
leys. Obviously a product will come off the hills and go to the low 
spots and every accident site is different and every scenario is dif- 
ferent. What you can say generally about large pipelines, when you 
have a catastrophic failure, you are going to have a Isirge amount 
of product out. 

And the abiUty of this valve to reduce that amount of product 
out, depends on tiie specific site and the profile on either side. 

Mr. BORSKI. lyield this point to the gentleman from Oklahoma. 

Mr. Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Brinkley, one of the 
questions that the Chairman asked I thought he might have been 
alluding to the article that was in the Washington Post today 



80 

wherein they talk about the Reston spill and this is a quote, 
"Points up the need to require the same kind of tough pipeline 
safety precautions along the Potomac River as are in effect on the 
Alaskan pipeline." 

Do you agree with that statement? 

Mr. Brinkley. No, I don't. And before coming to Colonial Pipe- 
line, I spent nearly 10 years on the owners' committee of the 
Trans-Alaska pipeline and indeed was chairman of the owners' 
committee for some period of time. 

I don't know where that particular — I don't know where that par- 
ticular piece of information or misinformation may have come from. 
I presiune it speaks to what we call leading edge flow meters which 
are installed one at each pump station on the Trans-Alaska pipe- 
line. They are not very accurate flow meters. They certainly don't 
do anything remotely resembling what the newspaper article pur- 
ported them to do. 

Incidentally, I might, since you have asked the question, let me 
just make an observation. The only pipeline that I know of that has 
ever been constructed that had mandated valve spacing was the 
Trans-Alaska pipeline. And that pipeline has more valves than any 
pipeline that I have ever seen and they are designed to prevent any 
spill from being larger than 50,000 barrels. 

That is over 2 milUon gallons so that is what we are talking 
about. 

Mr. Inhofe. Well, I suspected that was the case and I had heard, 
Mr. Brinkley, that you had a position at one time when the Alas- 
kan pipeline went through. So I appreciate you giving that to us 
for the record. 

You have heard the various regulators who are testifying. Have 
you been here during the whole hearing this afternoon? 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes, sir, I have. 

Mr. Inhofe. You probably heard that they have almost unani- 
mously said that the pipeline method of transportation is the safest 
in the industry and I think that certainly is what I have heard and 
I come from a State where pipelines are very, very prevalent. 

The third-party issue that was brought up is kind of interesting 
to me and I was a little confused because you were not referring, 
then, to a third party who was hired by your company to do the 
excavating and the lajdng of the pipeline but instead some com- 
pany that disturbed the environment after your pipeline was al- 
ready in; is that correct? 

Mr. Brinkley. That is right. 

Mr. Inhofe. Could we see the pictures once more that the 
gentlelady from Virginia was kind enough to share with us? It is 
very difficult for me not being in the business, not being more fa- 
miliar with it to identify what was characterized as a gouge as 
being that, a gouge. Can you look at that from your experience and 
tell us what that is? 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes, sir. This is the longitudinal weld in this pipe- 
line. 

[Photographs referred to, previously entered into the record, ap- 
pear beginning on page 33.] 

Mr. Inhofe. There is an obvious weld there. We want to make 
sure that we are looking at the one that is perpendicular. 



81 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes. This is a girth weld. This is where the joints 
of the pipe are joined together in the field. This is a longitudinal 
weld which is the way that the flat plate is bent around and then 
welded to form a tube in the pipe mill. 

Mr. LsfHOFE. All right. 

Mr. Brinkley. We don't know where these pictures came fi*om. 
Obviously they did not come from a site an5nA^here close to the spill 
site in Reston, Virginia, because this is a piece of concrete coated 
half-inch heavy wall river pipe. And I guess the closest place that 
we can think of that these might have come from would be the Po- 
tomac River crossing. 

Mr. Inhofe. Well, perhaps the location of where those were 
taken would be shared with us in just a moment. On the picture 
that would be the second picture, you have what appears to be a 
backhoe and was that taken during the laying of the pipeline? 

Mr. Yarborough. We are short one picture. 

Mr. Brinkley. Well, here is a backhoe over there. 

Mr. Yarborough. There is another picture that shows the line. 

Mr. Inhofe. I was looking at the one that actually has the back- 
hoe in there. 

Mr. Brinkley. You are probably more familiar with that and the 
location. Go ahead. 

Mr. Yarborough. If I may, this is not a backhoe it is what is 
known as a drag hne. It is a piece of equipment that you may have 
seen working in and around rivers before. It has a big bucket that 
is suspended from the boom by cables and generally the — it has an- 
other cable that comes toward the cab and the operator can swing 
the bucket out and let it down on say a river bottom or ditch bot- 
tom and then use a cable to pull the bucket towards him and then 
it fills up with whatever he is excavating, and he picks it up and 
lays it over to one side. 

It is an excavating machine but it is not a backhoe that is t5T3i- 
cally used in and around water crossings. 

Mr. Inhofe. I am referring you to the one that is over here. That 
is not a backhoe; is that correct? 

Mr. Yarborough. This is a backhoe here. 

Mr. Inhofe. Yes I thought so. At least in Oklahoma we call those 
backhoes. 

Mr. Yarborough. We call them that in Virginia, too. 

Mr. Inhofe. Okay. But the question I have about that is when 
I looked at the picture, it appeared to me that the excavation had 
taken place and that there is adequate room in that picture for 
padding to go back in, the mere proximity of the material that was 
taken out, shouldn't be a basis to pass any judgment as to whether 
or not that was used for padding or put back in. 

Where in that picture would the padding be located? Somewhere 
else, trucked in and put in as a normal procedure? 

Mr. Yarborough. Oiu* specifications say if it is not available 
near the right of way, then it has to be trucked in. What we re- 
quire is where you have rocks in the bottom of the ditch that you 
put as in this particular construction project, urethane pads ap- 
proximately every 10 feet and then fill in between the pads with 
the pad material and in addition, someplaces, we will put another 
material around the pipe, which is this white stuff", I believe is 



82 

what we call rock shield, it protects the coating during backfill if 
there is any, not supposed to have any large rocks adjacent to the 
pipe but there could be some small rocks in there. 

Mr. Inhofe. I thought that was the case and let me just lastly 
compliment you because in your testimony I wish more of our wit- 
nesses would be as specific as to recommendations. 

You outline four recommendations and this committee certainly 
will look at those to prevent things like this fi*om happening in the 
future. 

Thank you, very much. 

Mr. Brinkley. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. BORSKI. I have one question if I could before I go to the gen- 
tlewoman. In that picture with the — ^there is a rock in the ditch 
and obviously more rock in kind of a fill material. Could you ex- 
plain to me what would happen? You would fill that area around 
the pipe first with what? 

Mr. Yarborough. Padding material, typically sand or any soft: 
nonabrasive material without any large rocks in it. 

Mr. BORSKI. And would that material be used to complete the 
fiU? 

Mr. Yarborough. No. 

Mr. BORSKI. You wouldn't use any of that at all? 

Mr. Yarborough. Wait, this material? 

Mr. BORSKI. Yes, whatever came out. 

Mr. Yarborough. Once you have a foot of this padding material 
around the pipe, specifications allow the contractor to complete the 
backfill with rocks — ^that is not a very scientific statement, but it 
says no bigger than one man can carry, okay. 

Mr. BORSKI. The gentlewoman fi'om Virginia. 

Ms. Byrne. Well, since you have got the pictures, let's stick with 
them for a minute. That weld that you spoke of, it is usual to have 
a weld that is indented from the surface rather than like the weld 
that connects the two pipes together that is raised? 

Mr. Brinkley. These are both raised. 

Ms. Byrne. If you look at the shadow, sir, Mr. Brinkley, I think 
you will see that it is indented, not raised. 

Mr. Yarborough. I have to agree with Mr. Brinkley, it looks like 
it is raised and a typical longitudinal weld. It may be the way the 
light falls on it when the picture was taken. 

Ms. Byrne. Right. Do you paint over those welds? When you 
paint the pipe, do you paint over the welds? 

Mr. Yarborough. Yes, but that is not paint. That is the coating. 
The coating was applied in the pipe mill. 

Ms. Byrne. Mr. Brinkley, in your testimony, you have already 
stated that you were here when Mr. Jackson and Mr. Hart gave 
their testimony and I asked them specifically who, when, where did 
the mechanical damage happen? 

And they were unable to state with a degree of certainty that you 
stated in your testimony that was third party and yet you rely on 
their findings as part of your statement. Were you here when they 
testified that they could not with any certainty say that it was 
third-party damage? 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes, I was. 



83 

Ms. Byrne. Let's talk a little bit about the inspectors. When you 
put this pipeline down in 1980, did you have an inspector on the 
site? 

Mr. BRl>fKLEY. Yes, we did. 

Mr. BORSKI. What kind of training do these inspectors have? 

Mr. Brinkley. Basically these are people who have worked for 
Colonial for a niimber of years and who have training ranging from 
being engineers just to years and years of pipeline experience. 

Ms. Byrne. Do we know who the inspector was on this pipeline? 

Mr. Brinkley. I don't know at the moment, no. 

Ms. Byrjie. Do you keep any records of who inspects what pipe? 

Mr. Brinkley. If we — those kinds of records are not part of the 
construction records that are required under HLPSA 195, which is 
the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act that governs construc- 
tion, operation, and maintenance of pipelines. 

However, I do believe that we know who the inspectors were. 
There are a number of inspectors on a pipeline job. There is a 
ditching inspector. There is a coating inspector. There is a string- 
ing inspector. There is a welding inspector. There is a lowering in 
inspector. There is a backfill inspector and over them all is the 
chief inspector. 

So there are a lot of inspectors on any given job. 

Ms. Byrne. Well, if you have with some certainty the knowledge 
of who these inspectors were for the backfill inspector and the ditch 
inspector, could you give me any idea what kmd of training they 
had for their jobs? 

Mr. Brinkley. Offhand, I can't, no. 

Ms. Byrne. Okay. Could you get back to us with that informa- 
tion? 

Mr. Brinkley. Yes. 

[The following was received fi'om Mr. Brinkley:] 



84 



The following information is submitted in response to 
Congresswoman Byrne's May 18 question regarding the training of 
Colonial Pipeline Company's ditch and backfill inspectors. 

Colonial used freelance inspectors for its construction 
projects, as was commonplace in the pipeline industry, until the 
mid 1970 's. These inspectors were typically retired pipeline 
company or contractor employees with experience in construction. 
This philosophy changed at the time of Colonial's last major 
expansion program. It was felt that regular employees, with a 
direct and long lasting interest in the company, might be more 
effective inspectors. Dedicated employees with good employment 
records, who expressed interest in serving as construction 
inspectors, were chosen for these positions. This policy has 
served us well, and it remains in effect today. 

The ditch inspector on Colonial's 1980 36-inch pipeline 
construction project was Gary A. Shoemake. Prior to being hired by 
Colonial Pipeline Company, Shoemake served in the U.S. Army. He 
attended the army's Aviation School and became foreman of a 
helicopter repair shop. After receiving an honorable discharge, he 
worked and became experienced in all phases of home construction. 
He received an Associate Degree in Business Administration from 
Kennesaw College in 1976. 



85 



Shoemake was hired by Colonial February 28, 1977. He 
completed the company's Pipeline Operator Training Program in 
August of the same year. This extensive formal program comprises 
a combination of written material and practical factors. It 
familiarizes the employee with pipeline equipment and all facets of 
operations. Having demonstrated diligent performance in pipeline 
operations for approximately two years, Shoemake was assigned as 
ditching inspector on a 40-inch pipeline construction project in 
Texas from April to September 1979. He completed this assignment 
in an exemplary manner before returning to his operating position 
in Atlanta. 

Colonial's backfill inspector on its 36-inch pipeline project 
was Thomas E. Blackstone. Prior to fc-^ing employed by Colonial, 
Blackstone was an electrician in the U. S. Navy. He was honorably 
discharged in May 1969 and entered private industry. He worked as 
a journeyman electrician and then for a year as a construction 
foreman . 

Blackstone was hired by Colonial March 12, 1979. He, too, 
completed the Pipeline Operator Training Program. Thereafter, 
while serving as a pipeline operator, Blackstone completed a 
Technical Training Program through Cleveland Institute of 
Electronics. He was promoted to pipeline technician in September 
1979 in recognition of his aptitude and achievements. 



86 



Both these employees were assigned to the 1980 construction 
project in March, etbout two weeks prior to its commencement. This 
time was used to thoroughly fauniliarize the inspectors with all 
aspects of the project under the direct supervision of a highly 
seasoned Chief Inspector and included a refresher training session 
for these inspectors with the company's engineering staff. They 
studied the Construction Specifications, especially the sections 
that applied to their respective areas of responsibility; ensured 
their familiarity with the various reports and other paperwork that 
they would be required to complete on a daily basis; familiarized 
themselves with the route of the pipeline, both on maps and on the 
ground; met with contractor representatives; and performed other 
duties as assigned by the Chief Inspector. 

Throughout their construction assignments these men continued 
to learn from their daily experiences. They were subject to the 
continuous scrutiny of the Chief Inspector, a Spread Engineer, a 
Project Engineer, and a Project Manager. Both performed admirably 
without incident and returned to their normal duties at the 
conclusion of the project. 

Attached are copies of the specifications which governed the 
activities of these inspectors in the performance of their duties. 



87 

Page 10-1 



SECTION 10 
BENDING, LAYING, AND LOWERING-IN 



Field Bending 

Contractor shall make all necessary pipe bends required In the 

construction of the line; but. Company may at its option furnish factory 

bends for installation at points where, in its Judgment, the use of such 
bends is preferable. 

Each field bend must comply with the following: 

1. The bend must be smooth and uniform. 

2. After bending, the pipe must be free from buckling, cracks, or any 
other mechanical damage and must conform to the profile of the 
completed ditch. 

3. There must be no wrinkle bends or miter bends. 

4. Bending through a girth weld is permissible provided: 

a. The longitudinal weld is kept as near as practicable to the 
neutral axis of the bend, i.e., when placed in the bending shoe 
the longitudinal weld shall be as close as practical to the 
three o'clock or nine o'clock position, and 

b. Each girth weld located within the radius of a bend is 100% 
x-rayed before or after bending. It shall be the Contractor's 
responsibility to clearly mark this weld to call attention to 
the need for x-ray. 

5. The difference between the maximum and minimum diameter at a bend 
must not be more than 2-1/2 per cent of the nominal diameter. 

6. The wall thickness of the pipe after bending shall not be less than 
tlie minimum permitted by the pipe specification. 

All benaing shall be done by a cold stretch bending method, and due care 
shall be exercised to avoid buckling the pipe or weakening welds. Any 
bend that is buckled, or does not fit the ditch to the satisfaction of 
Company Representative, shall be cut out and replaced at Contractor's 
expense, and pipe thus removed will be charged to Contractor as damaged 
material at the delivered cost. In general, the curvature of all bends 
shall be distributed throughout as great a length as possible. All 
equipment used to make bends shall be approved by Company Represen- 
tative. Padded bending dies for the bending machine shall be required 
at no aoditional cost if, in tht Compan^' nepresentat i ve ' s opinion, it is 
necessary to protect the coating. 



88 



Page 10-2 



Normal tangents of 6 feet shall be left on the ends of all bent Joints. 
No pipe shall be bent in excess of 0.6° per linear foot nor more than 
17" per 40 foot pipe joint. Extreme caution shall be exercised in the 
use of internally expanded mandrel type bending machines so that the 
diameter of the pipe is not increased. In bending, the difference 
between the maximum and minimum diameter shall be as stated in (5) 
above. 

Lowering-In 

The Contractor may employ any acceptable means of lowering provided that 
such means secures the necessary amount of pipe centered in the bottom 
of the ditch and does not injure the pipe or protective coatings. 

Whenever possible, pipe shall be lowered into the ditch before the 
atmospheric temperature exceeds 80° F. Any excess pipe shall be removed 
by the Contractor by cutting out the excess pipe as directed by 
Company's Representative and rewelding the resulting two ends of the 
line together. All pipe installed in the ditch must be installed in a 
manner that minimizes the introduction of secondary stresses and the 
possibility of damage to the pipe. 

A non-abrasive canvas padded sling or other Company approved device 
shall be used in lowering all coated pipe sections without Injury to the 
protective coating. Anv coating injured in handling or lowering the 
pipe shall be repaired by the Contractor and left in a condition equal 
to that of the undanaged coating. Protection shields of plywood (or 
equivalent material) shall be placed alongside walls of trench 
containing rock or other hard object. These shields are to be taken out 
when pipe is not subject to further movement. 

All sae-bends and side-hends shall fit the trench neatly, and the inside 
of all side-bends or over-bends shall clear the side or bottom of the 
ditch by a minimum of 12 inches. In blasted rock ditch the pipe shall 
clear both side walls by three feet. 

Kg line shall be lowered into the ditch until Company's Representative 
has been notified and his approval has been given and the line has been 
subjected to electrical holiday testing in accordance with Section 9 of 
these Specifications. 

Submerging Pipe 

At locations along the pipeline route where concrete jacket Is not 
specified and water In the ditch prevents lowering the pipe. Contractor 
shall pump the water from the ditch to permit lowering. In lieu of this 
method. Contractor may, with Conpany's approval, submerge the pipe by 
filling It with filtered fresh water. If water Is utilized for 
submerging the pipe. It shall not be removed until after the ditch has 
been backfilled. 



89 

Page 10-3 



Where factory bends are specified by the Company, Contractor, at no 
additional charge, shall cut required degree segments from Company 
supplied standard 3R 30", A5* and 90° elbows. No segment of a factory 
bend may be employed where the arc distance measured along the crotch Is 
less than 2 Inches. If the Internal diameter of such fittings differs 
by more than 3/16" from that of the adjoining pipe, the Contractor, at 
no additional expense, shall prepare and make the transition as shown on 
Attachment 38 and as specified in Section 8 of these Specifications. 

Laying 

Each Joint of pipe shall be swabbed with an internal line-up clamp or 
with a leather or canvas belt disc of the proper diameter, to the 
satisfaction of the Company's Representative, to remove dirt, mill scale 
and other foreign material before placing pipe In an alignment for 
welding. 

Longitudinal seams shall be on the upper surface of the line and within 
30° from top center. Successive joints shall be rotated to right or 
left to avoid aligning the seams in adjoining joints. 

The open end of the line shall be securely closed at the end of each 
day's work to prevent the entrance of water, small animals, trash or any 
other obstructions and shall not be opened until work is resumed. Where 
the line is left apart at intervals for any reason, both ends shall 
likewise be securely closed. 

Contractor shall pick up, haul and insert in the line short pieces of 
pipe which have been cut off when tying sections of the line together. 
These short pieces of pipe shall not be allowed to accumulate but shall 
be moved ahead and welded in the line intermittently with pipe of the 
same wall thickness and grade. The shortest pipe pup permissible under 
these conditions shall be 10 feet in length. With specific Company 
Representative approval, shorter lengths may be employed when necessary 
to facilitate tie-ins, etc., but in no case shall pipe less than one 
pipe diameter in length be installed anywhere in the line. 

CAUTION Company may elect to impose additional special 

conditions, restrictions or limitations on the 
quantity and length of pup joints permitted, 
their use in the line, final disposition, Con- 
tractor responsibility, etc. Such additional 
special conditions, restrictions, and limitations 
shall be set forth in Section 17 of these Spefici- 
catlons. 

Pipe Transitions 

Company may elect to utilize pipe transition pieces on this project. 
Welding transition pieces in the line shall be the Contractor's 
responsibility and shall not be a basis for extra payment. All mainline 
valves are weld-end and will be supplied with ends to match, or 
approximately match, adjoining pipe wall thickness. At any location 
where the pipe wall thickness changes and the difference in thickness 
exceeds 3/32", and transition nipples are not specified, the Contractor, 
at no additional expense, shall prepare and make the transition as shown 
on Attachnenc 38 and as specified in Section 8 of these Specifications. 



90 

Page 11-1 



SECTION 11 
BACKFILLING, RETARDS, CLEANUP 



Backfilling - General 

No ditch shall be backfilled unless the pipe has proper depth and fit. 
Absolutely no rocks, hard clods, or other hard objects shall be allowed 
to remain on or against the coated pipe. No timber, roots, wood, excess 
coating material, containers, packaging material, metal, or other such 
items shall be permitted In the backfill. Approval of Company Represen- 
tative shall be obtained prior to backfilling any section of ditch. 

Backfilling - Normal Terrain 

Backfilling shall be done in such a manner as to insure filling the 
space below and up the sides of the pipe to a point at least 12 inches 
above the pipe with soft, loose earth. The backfill material 12 Inches 
and higher above the pipe shall meet the general conditions above or the 
specific conditions stated below. Use of auger type backfill equipment 
is approved and preferred. 

Contractor shall employ any acceptable method approved by Company Repre- 
sentative which will insure adequate compaction of the backfill and at 
the same time not deform the pipe from its normal roundness. Upon 
completion of the compaction, the remaining backfill shall be spread 
over the pipeline ditch as shown in Attachment 62, and the earth on both 
sides of the ditch, which has been disturbed during construction, shall 
be graded to the satisfaction of the Company Representative, the 
lant'ovjner, or his tenant, and fertilized and seeded when so directed by 
Company (see "Cleanup of Right of Way" below). 

Contractor shall open all natural water courses disturbed by construc- 
tion. When directed by Company Representative, Contractor shall 
construct furrows and terraces across the pipeline ditch to divert the 
flow of water away from the backfilled ditch and into natural drainage 
courses. 

Backfilling - Rock Ditch 

All coated pipe, other th;in concrete coated pipe, installed in a blasted 
or rock ditch line must be placed on Company approved supports 10 feet 
on center with 1 foot minimum clearance above bottom of ditch and at a 
sufficient depth to provide the required cover over the installed line. 
(See section on "Retards" and Attachment 37 herein.) 



91 

Page 11-2 



Following placement of supports, the ditch shall be filled with soft 
earth padding to the top of the supports. The pipe shall then be placed 
on the supports and additional soft earth shall be added in 6" lifts 
until there Is 12" of padding above the pipe. Contractor shall provide 
adequate compaction on each side of the pipe to prevent "egging" when 
the ditch is completely backfilled. 

in anv area where there is insufficient loose, clean dirt on the right 
of way for this padding. Contractor shall furnish, haul and place such 
dirt padding as required at no additional charge to the Company. 
Backfilling shall then proceed as defined above under "Normal Terrain" 
with the exception, and at the discretion of the Company Representative, 
some rock, no larger than one man can carry, may be placed in the 
backfill after the above mentioned padding is in place. In cultivated 
areas, no rock shall be placed in the top of the backfill which would 
interfere with plowing or cultivating. All surplus rock shall be 
disposed of by Contractor to the satisfaction of Company, landowner, or 
tenant at no additional compensation. 

In a blasted or rock ditch line that cannot be drained, such as small 
stream crossings. Company may elect to furnish and utilize a "pipe 
shield" material on the underside of the line pipe. This material will 
generally be made of polyester, resin, fiber glass, and silicon. It 
will be supplied by the Company in 1/2" to 3/4" thicknesses, 120''-180'' 
segments, and in random 5' to 10' lengths (see Attachment 69). 
Contractor shall supply labor to Install and necessary banding. Payment 
for installation shall be on a Unit Price Basis, Exhibit "C". 



Backfilling of Public and Private Road Crossings 

Where a ditch has been opened across a public or private road or 
highway, Contractor shall, immediately after lowering in the pipe, 
backfill that part of the ditch line crossing the roadway. Contractor 
is cautioned backfill requirements may vary to meet the requirements of 
County Road Commissioners or the equivalent City, County, State, or 
Federal officials or private road owners. 

In lieu of such special requirements, backfilling of all road crossings 
not bored shall be performed in the following manner: The backfill 
under, around, and to a point 6 inches above the top of the pipe or 
casing shall be of loose earth, free of clods or rocks, and shall be 
placed in tamped layers not to exceed 6 Inches in thickness. Each 
succeeding layer, to a point 12 inches below the normal road surface, 
shall be placed In 6" layers, each layer being thoroughly tamped and 
watered if necessary, but need not be free of rock or clods provided 
that any rock placed In the backfill shall not exceed 6 inches in 
diameter and shall be placed in layers with soil or fine rock placed 
between to fill all voids. On graded dirt roads, the top 12 inches of 
backfill shall be well graded crushed rock or gravel mixed with clay and 
placed in the backfill in 4" layers. Each layer shall be thoroughly 
tamped, using water if necessary, before placing the next layer. On all 
surfaced roads, which are not bored, the top 12 inches of backfill 



92 

Page 11-3 



and the surface shall be replaced In a manner satisfactory to the 
Company Representative and to the authorities having jurisdiction 
thereof. Contractor is cautioned that most road authorities will 
require 90% to 1002 compaction which, when required, is the Contractor's 
responsibility and shall not be a basis for extra payment. 

Contractor shall arrange whenever possible to complete all road 
crossings before the end of the work day to avoid hazards to night 
travel. 



Backfilling - Terraces, Crossings, Drain Tile, Etc. 

In backfilling across farm or other terraces or in small stream 
crossings. Contractor shall backfill as required above and shall restore 
the terraces and/or banks and, if necessary, shall reinforce the 
backfill with earth filled bags, sprayed urethane, rock, rip-rap, or 
concrete headwalls as directed by Company Representative. 

Contractor shall repair all drain tile removed or damaged by the method 
shown in Attachment 70 or by a method approved by Company 
Representative. 



Backfilling - Designated River Crossing 

Contractor shall backfill designated river crossings In accordance with 
the special drawings and/or restriction list provided with sane. 



Distance Between Rough Backfill and Lowering-In 

Contractor shall keep the rough backfill as close as possible to the 
lowering-in operation and at no time shall the distance between exceed 
one mile unless specifically approved by Company Representative. 



Maintenance of Backfill 

Contractor shall at his own expense repair damage to levees, roadways, 
lands, private driveways, and farm terraces caused by settling or 
washing along right of way up to and including date of acceptance by 
Company of work included herein. 



Retards • 

It is the intent of the Company to have the Contractor erect on 
•lillsides or slopes "retards" to prevent the loss of material from the 
hotton of the ditch line by "washing". Contractor shall provide retards 
consisting of sand bags or sprayed urethane foam as requested by Company 
Representative. When Company reouests use of sand bag retards, 
Contractor shall supply the sand bags and erect the retards. In such 



93 

Page 11 -A 



Instances, sand bags two or more high shall be placed completely across 
the ditch before the pipe Is lowered Into position. Additional sand 
bags shall then be placed around, over, and above the pipe. Each retard 
shall be built completely across the ditch and to the height designated 
by the Company Representative (see Attachment 64). Company 
Representative will designate the number and location for all retards. 
Payment for sand bag retards shall be on a Unit Price Basis In 
accordance with Exhibit "C. 

When Company requests use of urethane foam retards. Contractor shall 
spray liquid urethane furnished by Company across the ditch line 
generally as shown on Attachment 63. Pipe shall then be placed on the 
retard, and Contractor shall spray urethane around the pipe and 
completely across the ditch and to the height requested by the Company 
Representative. Any forming material required to attain the height 
requested shall be the responsibility of the Contractor. Payment for 
urethane form retards shall be in accordance with Exhibit "C". 



Cleanup of Right of Way 

As soon as backfill is completed, Contractor shall immediately clean up 
the right of way, removing to places designated by Company all surplus 
and defective materials, and disposing of all refuse such as brush, 
sheet iron, broken skids, enamel, glass fiber, etc., to the satisfaction 
of Company's Representative. All rock, which has been scattered along 
the right of way or on property adjacent to the right of way by 
Contractor's operations, shall be gathered up by Contractor and disposed 
of by Contractor so as not to cause damage to property of others. 

Insofar as possible, the earth on both sides of the pipeline ditch, 
which has been disturbed during the construction of the pipeline, shall 
be smoothed up. On all land subject to cultivation, a chisel plow of 
type acceptable to Company shall be used and the entire right of way 
plowed to a depth of 10 inches unless the right of way easement 
specifically omits this requireraent. On pasture land, the entire right 
of way shall be disked and left in a condition satisfactory to the 
Company Representative. Contractor is to fertilize and seed all 
dlstrubed right of way except right of way normally inundated with water 
or under cultivation. Company will furnish required seed and 
fertilizer. All temporary fills and bridges shall be removed and 
cleaned up to the satisfaction of both the landowner and Company 
Representative. 

To control and prevent soil erosion and/or sedimentation at water 
crossings. Contractor shall erect berms across the right of way near the 
water's edge on each side of each water crossing. These bcrns shall be 
of sufficient height and width to turn water washing down the right of 
way to right and left, well away from the point where the ditch line 
enters the water crossing. In certain areas, to further control 



94 

Page 11-5 



erosion, washing, and/or sedimentation, Contractor may be required to 
place straw mulch, baled filter straw, or other Company approved 
material on the right of way. Payment for mulch and bale placement 
shall be on a Unit Price Basis in accordance with Exhibit "C". 

Company will not prevent Contractor from attempting to clean up on 
account of weather or ground conditions. If Contractor proceeds with 
cleanup during adverse weather or when adverse ground conditions 
prevail. Contractor will assume full risk of acceptance and may be 
required by Company to again do such cleanup at the Contractor's expense 
to meet the Company's normal dry weather cleanup specifications. 



Repairs to Fences 

Upon completion of all backfilling and the cleaning up of the right of 
way, permanent repairs shall be made to all fences by using new and like 
kind of fencing materials. Contractor shall furnish and install good 
pressure creosoted or cedar post of 3" minimum top diameter in all 
fences except where steel, concrete, or specially constructed posts are 
encountered, in which case Contractor shall furnish and install such 
posts. All fence repairs shall be satisfactory to Company, landowner, 
and his tenant. 

It is not the intention of the Company to install permanent gates along 
the route of the line; however, at some locations landowners may require 
such gates, and wherever they are necessary. Company's Representative 
will so advise Contractor. In such cases, Company will furnish gate and 
gate posts, and Contractor will install and furnish any other material 
that may be required at no extra expense to the Company. 



Distance Between Final Cleanup and Backfill 

The distance between final cleanup and backfilling, which shall include 
all tie-ins, shall not exceed five miles unless approved by Company 
Representative. 



95 

Ms. Byrne. You had mentioned in your testimony and I agree 
that the one-call system needs to be tightened up and we men- 
tioned about what local and State and Federal Grovemment can do 
to prevent these kind of oil spills in the future. 

Do you have any things that you want to do within the company 
to prevent these land of spills in the future? You have told us what 
you thought government should do. What should Colonial do? 

Mr. Brinkley. I think what Colonial has been doing has been 
quite successful. Unfortunately we were not able to get to this pipe- 
hne yet and I have explained how we prioritized the system and 
why this was put down on o\ir priority list. 

But Colonial will continue their program which is not required 
to inspect these pipelines with magnetic pigs, to repair any anoma- 
Ues that show up on these magnetic pig runs. 

And while I am on that subject, let me set the record straight. 
There is no problem with internal corrosion in product pipelines 
such as ours. We have never had a problem with internal corrosion 
insofar as I know, neither has anyone else in the business. 

So the only corrosion — and that is what magnetic pigs are really 
designed to do is to detect corrosion both internal and external, but 
in our case internal is not an issue. External corrosion is of course 
an issue. We have foimd through this program many places where 
we needed to repair the pipe and we have repaired the pipe before 
we had a failure so we have averted many spills through our pipe- 
line pigging program and will continue to do that. 

We have spent probably $40 or $50 million over the past five or 
six years in smart pig inspections, excavations and repair of pipe- 
lines. 

Ms. Byrne. How much have you spent on this cleanup so far? 

Mr. Brinkley. As of March the 5th. we had spent $3.5 million. 
It will certainly cost between $5 and $10 miUion before we finish. 

Ms. Byrne. You spent $50 miUion on pigging and you spent $5 
milUon, was it, on cleanup? 

Mr. Brinkley. We have spent $3.5 milUon so far. We have not 
yet received the expected request for money from the EPA, from 
the Coast Guard and other Federal agencies and of course we 
haven't — ^we haven't begun, really, substantial expenditures for the 
remediation efforts yet. 

Ms. Byrne. But you haven't spent as much on cleanup as you 
spent on inspection? 

Mr. Brinkley. No, we haven't. 

Ms. Byrne. I presume, I am just thinking out loud here, I pre- 
sume that you get to deduct the cost of cleanup from your cost of 
doing business; is that correct? 

Mr. Brinkley. That is right. 

Ms. Byrne. So really those losses are being felt by taxpayers, too, 
because that is income that would have been there that is not 
there. 

Mr. Brinkley. I guess that is true. On the other hand, when we 
make money, we pay some of it to the Federal Grovemment, so 

Ms. Byrne. I understand. I understand. You talk in your testi- 
mony about the third-party damage and the only construction that 
took place in this area was seven years ago. I presume that you 



96 

in those seven years since that construction happened, you did 
some kind of inspection. 

Did you discover anything that would indicate that you had a 
problem here? Is there anj^hing you could have fixed prior to the 
rupture? 

Mr. Brinkley. Certainly if we had known there was a gouge in 
the pipe, we would have fixed it. We know that gouges in the pipe- 
line make it subject to failure by cyclic fatigue after a long enough 
period of time. 

We did run a caliper pig in this line in 1989. This particular 
gouge did not show up on the caliber pig chart, although going 
back and expanding the chart and looking at it very carefolly, you 
can actually see it but you would have to know where to start. 

Ms. Byrne. So you — there was something there you just didn't 
deal with it at that time. 

Mr. Brinkley. No, it wasn't — ^we coidd not have found it unless 
we knew where it was. 

Ms. Byrne. Okay. You also state that the damage resulted fi-om 
third party because of similar scrapes and marks that were found 
on the adjacent 32-inch pipe. Was this section of pipe replaced 
when you found these anomalies? 

Mr. Brinkley. I am sorry the 32 inch? 

Ms. Byrne. One of yovu* reasons for saying it was third-party 
damage is you found similar marks in the adjacent 32-inch pipe as 
the marks you foimd on the 36-inch pipe. 

Mr. Brestkley. That is right. 

Ms. Byrne. I am asking was that pipe taken out and replaced? 

Mr. Brinkley. We repaired it with a full encirclement sleeve 
which is an approved way to repair such a piece of damage. 

Ms. Byrne. You didn't want to take that section of pipe out. I 
mean if you had one pipe — ^you had a 36-inch pipe that you just 
didn't want to put a new section in. 

Mr. Brinkley. No, the sleeve is as good a repair as taking out 
the section of pipe. 

Ms. Byrne. Again, we had talked about this pigging and you had 
mentioned in your testimony before the Chairman that you had 
maybe some plans about making this pipe piggable. 

Mr. Brinkley. Making it piggable by magnetic flux tools, yes. 

Ms. Byrne. Do you have any idea what the time fi*ame might be 
for that? 

Mr. Brinkley. I don't have — ^we haven't addressed that at this 
moment. It could be as early as next year. It depends perhaps on 
exactly what kinds of materials are required. 

We are talking about an expenditure of probably well over $20 
million and 36-inch valves are long delivery items, so that would 
probably be one of the major factors in exactly when we could make 
this pipeline a single diameter all the way through or make it so 
we C£in run a magnetic flux pig in it. 

One of the other things that kind of colored our thinking was 
that during the period of time when we were struggling with the 
question of are we going to modify this line or how are we going 
to modify this line, some of the suppliers of smeirt pigs kept telling 
us that they were on the verge of being able to develop a pig that 



97 

would indeed inspect the 36-inch line and go through the 32-inch 
station piping. 

However, they haven't come up with one yet and we are begin- 
ning to lose hope that they will. So we will probably have to modify 
the pipeline to take the large diameter pig. 

Ms. Byrne. Why wasn't that done in the first place since the 
technology was available? You had the 32-inch station piping and 
you had a 36-inch pipe and was it just a matter of cost savings, 
cost cuttings, convenience, what? 

Mr. Brinkley. No, as I explained earUer and in 1980 when that 
pipeline was built, tiiis was not proven technology. In fact, it was 
very unproven technology and the pigs that were available at those 
times didn't do a very good job, probably gave you more misin- 
formation than information, so it wasn't nearly as important. 

We wanted to make sure that we could get cleaning pigs through 
it. Which we regularly do. We run a cleaning pig through about 
once a quarter but it was not nearly as important in those days be- 
cause the technology was not developed to be able to run a mag- 
netic flux pig. . . 

And the reason that they ended up with 32-inch station pipmg, 
as I tried to explain, was that this was a parallel line, what we call 
a loop to an existing line that was being operated at maximimi ca- 
pacity in order to supply the demands for petroleum products in 
this area and on fiuther into New York Harbor and just didn't 
have that opportunity to build these stations and modify them, 
they were just — these stations were cut off at the 32-inch line and 
tied into the 36. 

Ms. Byrne. Thank you, Mr. Brinkley. 

Mr. BORSKI. I thank the gentlewoman. Any other questions? Mr. 
Brinkley, we have a time problem here. I am going to submit ques- 
tions to you in writing if I may and appreciate your rapid response 
if we could. 

Mr. Brinkley. Certainly we welcome that, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much for your testimony today. 
[Subsequent to the hearing additional questions were submitted 
to Mr. Brinkley. The questions and responses follow:] 



98 



Colonial Pipeline Company 

QUESTIONS FOR COLONIAL PIPELINE COMPANY AS FOLLDW-HP 
TO THE COLONIAL PIPELINE HEARING OF MAY 18. 1993 

Q. 1. Vlhen do you anticipate coopletion of the necessary modifications to 
the 36- inch dianeter pipeline so that it can accept a magnetic -flux 
inspection device? 

A. Colonial is pursuing the possibility of having a vendor build a 

magnetic inspection pig that will traverse this line in its present 
configuration. If an appropriate pig cannot be built in a timely 
fashion, Colonial will include the modifications in its capital 
budget for 199A. Engineering, drawing, and material acquisition 
will take place in the first half of 1994 with construction in the 
last half. Modifications should be complete by year end. 

Q. 2. Are pipeline companies insured against pipeline accidents such as 
that which occurred on March 28, 1993? If so, to what extent does 
the insurance industry provide incentives or requirements regarding 
preventative spill maintenance of pipelines? 

A. Pipelines generally carry insurance to indemnify against accidents 

similar to the March 28, 1993 event. Specifically, the level of 
self-instired retention and upper limits of liability coverage vary 
from company to company. 

There are no formal incentives or requirements other than the desire 
of any businesses to reduce the financial risk associated with an 
extradordinary catastrophic event. Pipeline companies perceived by 
insurance markets to be proactive in preventive maintenance, 
employee training for damage control and spill response, and 
discovery and remediation of environmental hazards are more likely 
to find coverage to be more readily available at more stable rates 
than those who are not as careful. 

Q. 3. Does Colonial Pipeline Company have internal guidelines on 
hydrostatic pressure testing? 

A. Colonial hydrostatically tests all new pipe installations in 

accordance with DOT regulations. 

q. 4. Hydrostatic testing is the only testing method available that can 
test the pressure integrity of a pipeline and detect defects caused 
by railroad fatigue and by fluctuating pressures which are common in 
hazardous liquid pipelines. Does Colonial regularly use hydrostatic 
testing to test the pressure integrity of its hazardous liquid 
. pipelines? If not, why? 

A. As a point of clarification, while it is true that fluctuating 

pressures are common in hazardous liquid pipelines, those 
fluctuations are not a cause of pipeline defects. Furthermore, the 



99 



Colonial Pipeline Company 

existence of defects caused by railroad fatigue is not 'coomon'' in 
hazardous liquid pipelines, althou^ Colonial has experienced this 
problea with one vintage (1962) of large diameter pipe from a 
certain aanuf acturer . 

Colonial hydrostatically tests new pipelines in accordance with DOT 
regulations. Colonial «loes not regularly use hydrostatic testing to 
pressure test the pressure integrity of its pipelines because a 
hydrostatic test does not reveal all defects - only those that are 
severe enough at the time of the test to fail at or below the test 
pressure. Colonial feels that because of the cost, the difficulties 
in acquiring and disposing of water, and the disruption in the 
supply of refined products to the area served by the pipeline, 
hydrostatic tests are not warranted unless it is perceived that 
there exists a nuniber of harmful defects that cannot be detected by 
some other means. 

Q. 5. When Colonial hydrostatically tested the 32 -inch line from Mitchell 
Jimction to Dorsey in August and September 1990, the section between 
Lousla, Virginia, and Remington, Virginia, had a blow out. What was 
the basis for the decision to test that line? Has the entire length 
of the 32- inch diameter pipeline been hydrostatically tested since 
the time of its construction in the 1960 's7 

A. The basis for the decision to test that line was the occurrence of 
a pipeline rupture downstream of Louisa in December of 1989. The 
cause of the failure was attributed to railroad fatigue and was near 
a similar failiure that had occurred in 1980 (both failures involved 
the previously mentioned 1962 vintage pipe). It was Colonial's 
contention that, despite the two failures, the railroad fatigue 
problem was not widespread because pipe loading specifications in 
effect at the time would have prevented the problem if all rail cars 
had been loaded per the specifications. Apparently some small 
number of Joints was loaded improperly. Of the 144 miles of pipe 
tested, the only failure was in the remaining portion of the joint 
of pipe that had failed in 1980 (at the time of the 1980 failure 
only the affected portion of the pipe Joint had been removed and 
replaced - the remainder of the Joint was examined radiographically 
but that failed to show small cracks that were present) . In sximmary 
the hydrotest revealed no additional defective Joints of pipe beyond 
those that had failed in 1980 and 1990. 

The remaining length of the 32 -inch line was hydrotested vhen first 
constructed but not since that time. The pipe in this section is 
from different manufacturers and has experienced no failures due to 
railroad fatigue in over 30 years of service. 

Q- 6- Colonial provided the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) with 
information that 4,636 miles of pipeline are piggable with a smart 
pig and that 3,848 miles have been pigged. What internal criteria, 
factors, or guidelines were considered in deciding to pig the 3,848 
miles of pipeline? What is the frequency of inspecting your line 
with smart pigs? 



100 



Colonial Pipeline Company 

A. The criteria was slnply to start by pigging the older lines first as 

smart pigs became available. Some lines had to be modified to run 
the pigs. Inspection of some of the smaller lines had to be delayed 
xintll pigs were developed that could negotiate small radius bends. 
Colonial is still conducting the first round of smart pig 
inspections. Criteria for fut\ire inspections will depend on several 
factors including leak history, results of the first round of 
inspections, etc. Colonial expects to be doing some amount of 
internal inspection every year. 

Q. 7. Why was the 36-inch line not caliper-plgged in 1980 when the line 
was commissioned, as is the practice in the Industry, to ensure that 
the line was free of dents and defects? 

A, This line was proven to be free of what would be considered 

significant dents or buckles by running what is known as a "gauging 
pig" through the line. This is a pig with an aluminum gauge plate 
attached to the front. If any significant dents or other reductions 
in pipe diameter were present the gauge plate would be deformed. It 
was neither Colonial's practice nor general industry practice in 
1980 to run a caliper pig. 

Q. 8. Why did Colonial run a caliper pig rather than the more advanced 
geometry pig (which is fitted with a gyroscope and can detect 
horizontal and vertical changes in alignment) in the 36 -inch line 
between Chantilly and Dorsey Junction, given that both types of pigs 
were readily available in 19897 

A. Line 3 from Greensboro Junction, North Carolina, to Dorsey Junction, 

Maryland, is a 36-lnch line with five pump stations. Because these 
stations were originally constmcted to serve an earlier vintage 32- 
inch pipeline, all of these pump stations are equipped with 32 -inch 
station piping. Both the cleaning pigs that we normally run and 
caliper pigs such as that run in 1989, can pass through the 
restricted station piping, whereas more advanced geometry pigs 
cannot. Furthermore, the only advantage to a geometry pig is that 
it can detect horizontal and vertical changes in alignment. A 
pipeline such as Colonial's pipeline in this area, which is burled 
in stable ground, would not be subject to such changes and we would 
not consider this data to be of any advantage to the objective of 
maintaining the pipeline. 

Q. 9. Did the pig run identify any of the dents which were subsequently 
discovered when the pipe was excavated such as the dent which was 
found on the underside of the pipe? 

A. Colonial's requirement to the pig vendor was to identify all dents 

. that were 3 percent of the pipe diameter or greater (1.08" in 

diameter or greater) . Piping codes require that all dents greater 

that 6 percent be repaired. The report did not Identify the dent on 

the xinderside of the pipe. 



101 



Colonial Pipeline Company 

After the Reston accident, Colonial asked the vendor to re -examine 
the charts and nagnlfy the graphical data In the area o£ the 
accident. Once this was done, one could see a snail Indication 
that appears to natch the location of the dent on the underside of 
the pipe. 

Q 10. Please describe the specific actions which Colonial plans to take to 
ensure pipeline safety In high population and environmentally 
sensitive areas? 

A, Those areas which Colonial considers to be densely populated or 

environmentally sensitive are given extra svirvelllance and higher 
maintenance priorities than other areas. 

Within the Department of Transportation, the Office of Pipeline 
Safety Is obligated under the provisions of the 1992 Amendments to 
the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act to define those areas and 
establish further procedures for protecting them If necessary. When 
those procedures are developed, Colonial will comply. 

Q. 11. Mr. Brlnkley stated In his testimony: "There Is no problem with 
Internal corrosion In product pipelines such as ours. We have never 
had a problem with Internal corrosion Insofar as I know, and neither 
has anyone else In the business." How then do you explain that on 
page 49 of the Annual Report on Pipeline Safety for calendar year 
1991, published by the Department of Transportation, 19 accidents 
were directly attributed to Internal corrosion In hazardous liquid 
pipelines discharging almost 39,000 barrels of petrolevnn? 

/^. Mr. Brlnkley 's accurately described the situation with respect to 

internal corrosion In product pipelines. His comment was made in 
the context of the GAO testimony on using smart pigs to detect 
internal corrosion. While it is certainly true that internal 
corrosion is a problem with certain crude oils which may contain 
fairly substantial amounts of sulphur and water, Mr. Brlnkley was 
reacting to the testimony of the gentleman from the GAO who stated 
that petroleum products such as those that Colonial pumps are very 
corrosive. This is simply not the case, as corrosion Inhibitors are 
added to the products before they are shipped on the pipeline. 
These are the same products that are stored in an automobile's gas 
tank or home heating oil tank. 

Of the 19 accidents attributable to internal corrosion only four 
involved refined products and only 248 of the 39,320 barrels 
released were refined products. The remaining 15 accidents and the 
vast najorlty of the volume released Involved crude oil pipelines. 

Of the four accidents involving refined products, three were 
attributed to water and/or trash In auxiliary lines, which usually 
are within pipeline facilities such as pump stations and tank farms 
and Involve small fittings susceptible to trapping such water and 
trash. One was in a tank line and was caused by urea ammonia 
nitrate solution which had been stored in the tank In times past. 
None of the four were located in line pipe accessible by smart pigs. 



102 



Colonial Pipeline Company 

Q. 12. According to data supplied by the Departnent of Transportation's 
Office of Pipeline Safety, the nunber of incidents involving natiiral 
gas pipelines appears to be declining, while the nximber of incidents 
reported involving hazardous liquid pipelines is steadily 
increasing. To vhat do you attribute this increase? 

^^ This question is probably best answered by the Office of Pipeline 

Safety. However, from Colonial's perspective we offer the following 
comments : 

The criteria for reporting accidents for liquid pipelines is 
significantly different from the criteria for natural gas pipelines. 
Though both types of pipelines have to report any accident Involving 
a death or injury, natural gas lines have to report accidents with 
property damage over $50,000, while liquid pipelines have to report 
any accident with property damage over $5,000. Often in the past, 
leaks were not reported unless they met the 50 -barrel minimum 
release criteria provided in the regulations. However, the Office 
of Pipeline Safety has advised Colonial that property damage 
includes the cost of environmental remediation. As a result. 
Colonial has been reporting (Including making telephonic notice to 
the National Response Center) small leaks such as one or two 
barrels because the cost of responding to the leak almost always 
exceeds $5,000, if one includes environmental costs, even if this 
involves only testing to prove that contamination was prevented or 
limited. Other than the environmental concerns, inflation has 
Increased the cost of pipeline repairs but the $5,000 trigger level 
has been in effect for a number of years and has not been adjusted 
for inflation. As a result, the statistics for pipeline releases 
reported to DOT for recent years will be skewed when compared to 
past years. 



103 

Mr. BORSKI. On our next panel we would like to welcome Keith 
Buttleman, Deputy Director, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, 
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; Dr. John M. 
DeNoyer, Councilman, Town of Hemdon and Chairman, Fairfax 
County, Environmental Quality Advisory Council; Thomas M. 
Davis, III, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; and 
Jerry Garegnani, Chairman, Friends of Sugarland Rim. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

TESTIMONY OF KEITH BUTTLEMAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, PUB- 
LIC AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, VIRGINIA DE- 
PARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; DR. JOHN 
DeNOYER, COUNCILMAN, TOWN OF HERNDON AND CHAIR- 
MAN, FAIRFAX COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUN- 
CIL; THOMAS M. DAVIS, HI, CHAIRMAN, FAIRFAX COUNTY 
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS; AND JERRY GAREGNANI, CHAIR- 
MAN, FRIENDS OF SUGARLAND RUN 

Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Buttleman. 

Mr. Buttleman. Thank you. My name is Keith Buttleman, Dep- 
uty Director for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs of the Vir- 
ginia Department of Environmental Quality. 

The Commonwealth of the Virginia is vitally interested in the 
regulation of petroleum pipelines because of our experiences in Vir- 
ginia with spills. I am here today to briefly discuss the Colonial 
Pipeline spill near Hemdon and a couple of other recent incidents. 
On the morning of March 28th, 1993 a section of the Colonial Pipe- 
line near Hemdon, Fairfax Coimty, Virginia, mptured, releasing 
diesel petroleum into the environmental. The spill contaminated 
about nine miles of Sugarland Rxm which empties into the Potomac 
River. 

The Fairfax County Fire Department responded immediately and 
did an excellent job of initial damage control. The Virginia Depart- 
ment of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of 
Emergency Services along with the Environmental Protection 
Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Force responded 
immediately as did the pipeline company with their own personnel 
and several cleanup contractors. 

As described under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a Unified Com- 
mand Structure was estabUshed between Fairfax County and the 
Department of Environmental Quality and EPA to oversee emer- 
gency response. 

Initial activity focused on collecting the diesel fuel behind con- 
tainment booms in Sugarland Run to prevent it from migrating 
downstream, and on recovering the product into tanker trucks. Pro- 
tection of human health was an immediate priority and air quality 
monitoring of adjacent neighborhoods was conducted to assure 
there was no immediate health risks. Residential wells were also 
monitored to assure that ground water was not affected. 

Initial recovery efforts were successful, but were quickly ham- 
pered by a shortage of tanker trucks and locations to store recov- 
ered oil. High flow conditions in Sugarland Rim and the Potomac 
and difficult access at the mouth of the Sugarland Run also com- 
pUcated the recovery efforts. 



104 

The public drinking water intake on the Potomac River which 
serves half of Fairfax County was closed because of oil sheen at the 
intake. Within 24 hours, animal recovery efforts were organized by 
the Fairfax Animal Control Department to collect and rehabilitate 
affected beaver and waterfowl. 

The Unified Command Post was required to maintain 24 horn- 
operations for the first week after the spill to oversee emergency 
cleanup. Ultimately, it appears that more than 400,000 gallons 
were released and the cause of spill remains uncertain. 

The extent of the environmental damage has yet to be fully de- 
termined. Potentially sensitive wetland areas have been affected. 
The Fairfax County Water Authority was forced to keep its Poto- 
mac facility closed for 11 days and had intermittent shutdowns fol- 
lowing that. Preliminary indications are that the fish populations 
in Sugarland Rxm were completely eliminated and most other 
aquatic communities were severely damaged. Damage assessment 
is continuing at this time. 

Colonial Pipeline is currently developing a plan for remediation 
of Sugarland Run under the direction of county, State and Federal 
authorities. At this time it is uncertain what will be required or 
how long the cleanup will take. It appears that there is no longer 
an immediate threat to residents and that the emergency phase 
has ended. 

This spill is one of a series of pipeline releases which the Com- 
monwealth of Virginia has experienced in recent years. Since 1985 
at least four other major spills have released over 400,000 gallons 
into State waters. 

In November of 1985, over 120,000 gallons of heating oil was re- 
leased due to a pipeline break in Chesterfield County. About 93,000 
gallons of product was actually lost into the James River, but ex- 
tremely high flood conditions mitigated an adverse environmental 
effects. 

A pipeline rupture near Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia 
resulted in over 200,000 gallons of kerosene being released into 
Mine Run and ultimately the Rapidan River and then the Rappa- 
hannock River. This spill in December of 1989 resulted in the city 
of Fredericksburg's water intake being shut down for nine days and 
the city had suffered a similar effect from a Colonial Pipeline break 
in March of 1980 near the same sight. 

In June of 1990 a line break caused damage to — a line break 
caused by damage to the pipeline by a backhoe spilled over 80,000 
gallons of number 2 fuel oil into a farm pond in Chesterfield Coun- 
ty. Almost all of that product was contained in the pond and was 
recovered. 

And also in August of 1990, a pipeline ruptured in the city of 
Chesapeake, Virginia, spilled over 60,000 gallons of marine diesel 
into Drum Creek, a tributary of the EUzabeth River and affected 
a considerable area of tidal wetlands. 

The history of repeated spills by petroleum pipelines has caused 
the Commonwealth to be gravely concerned over the adequacy of 
pipeline regulations. On April 1st, 1993, after personally touring 
the area EUiected by the recent spill in Fairfax County, Governor 
Wilder instructed the State to actively pursue all avenues to 
strengthen pollution prevention requirements for petroleum pipe- 



105 

lines. We believe that States must have a substantive role in these 
regulations in order to protect our public interest, 

Mr. BORSKI. We will hear from all paneUsts first and hold all 
questions to the end. 

Mr. DeNoyer. Mr. Chairman, Members of the subcommittee, I 
am a town councilman in Hemdon and also the chairman of the 
Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council. My boss 
is sitting to my right, Tom Davis. I would like to siunmarize my 
statement and submit the total copy for the record. 

Mr. BORSKI. Without objection it is so ordered. 

Mr. DeNoyer. Mr. Chairman, I would like to cover a few topics 
that have not been covered by other people because many of the 
things I have written have been covered by others. First of all, we 
were very, very lucky in this oil spill. It could have been a lot 
worse and I thank we have to think in terms of much worse sce- 
narios that could have happened. 

First, the material that was spilled was not gasoline — ^it was a 
fuel oil not gasoline. If this had been gasoline, we could have a ter- 
rible situation, probably fire and much more toxicity. Second, the 
ground was saturated with water which minimized the amount of 
penetration of oil into the water. Third, the water table was high. 
That tends to mitigate the contamination of groundwater because 
the flow is generally from the high water table into the stream at 
this time, although there is reverse flow going on. Fourth, the 
stream was in full bank. This prevented the floating oil from se- 
verely contaminating the stream bottom and since the stream was 
not at flood stage the oil did not spread out over the flood plain 
except in localized low areas or where impoundment structures 
such as beaver dams were present. Fifth, the cleanup and recovery 
operations were able to recover a significant part of the oil that 
spilled, reducing the amount that remained in the environment. I 
think we all have to commend everybody involved in their excellent 
response and ability to recover as much as possible. 

Sixth, we had several heavy rains following the oil spiU that 
helped flush out the oil from the stream. And seventh, the warmer 
weather has helped evaporate the volatile portions of the oil. 

Regardless of these good things, the environmental impact was 
significant and while some life can be found in the stream, it is cer- 
tainly not a completely recovered ecological system at this time. In 
order for that to happen, the residual oil must be removed in one 
way or another and the food chain for the entire water dependent 
life in the stream must be redeveloped. This is something that will 
take a number of years in all probability. 

Also damage to vegetation, especially trees is something that is 
hard to assess initially because trees can be stressed and not show 
the signs for several years. The point I want to emphasize is the 
next step in this recovery operation is one that I find very fi*ustrat- 
ing. 

The techniques of bioremediation are quite well known. In terms 
of contingency planning it seems nothing has been done in the past 
to plan for the remediation and final recovery of an area of this 
type. 

And I think that this is something that needs to be added into 
the overall in terms of pipeline safety and other hazardous mate- 



106 

rials safety. The technique of bioremediation either augmented or 
natural is that microbes eat — use the oil as a food source. They use 
it as a carbon source and they consume it and break it down into 
simpler materials. 

I did not see the article in The Washington Post, Ms. Byrne, the 
intermediate harmful products from diesel fuel, I am unfamihar 
with that. However, in general the hydrocarbons are broken down 
into carbon dioxide and water which are basically harmless. 

The technique can be to leave it alone or to augment it slightly 
with fertilizer to augment the bioremediation with the bugs that 
have been accustomed to eating the oil and they do work best 
under damp conditions when oxygen is present and diiring warm 
weather. 

Since the spill, we have lost over a month now in terms of time 
when rapid implementation of bioremediation could have been suc- 
cessful. Hopefully, this will change in the near future. The Treat- 
ment Technologies Working Group, of which I am a member, did 
give some guidance to EPA and Colonial at the last meeting on 
May 12th and we plan to meet again I believe it is on May 26th 
or 27th to continue to review the response of Colonial. 

So hopefully this bioremediation progrsmi will get started in 
early June and the sooner the better because we are losing valu- 
able summertime. 

Mr. Chairman, I have done some research on pipeline safety and 
also some investigation of smart pigs. And I summarize some of 
this information in my statement. The comments so far have been 
largely directed at magnetic flux pigs. Magnetic flux pigs are good, 
but I feel that the ultrasonic pig is something that is still a very 
important instrument in terms of measuring actual wall thickness 
of pipelines. Also from the best information I have gotten there are 
not satisfactory ultrasonic pigs for this 36-inch diameter pipe and 
larger diameters. I feel this is an area that needs attention and 
that these ultrasonic pigs should be developed as soon as practical 
and used in these types of pipelines. 

I have attached several recommendations to my statement. I 
think the most important is the first one and that is that Public 
Law 102-508, Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 should be implemented 
as fast as possible to provide for the safety of all of us. 

Thank you. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman and Members of the subcommittee, my 
name is Thomas Davis, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of 
Supervisors, and I thank you for this opportunity to discuss issues 
and facts related to the recent rupture of the Colonial Pipeline in 
northwestern Fairfax County. I wish to especially themk Represent- 
ative Leslie Byrne for her initiative in bringing this matter before 
you. 

On Sunday, March 28th, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Fairfax 
County, Virginia Fire and Rescue Department units responded to 
the report of a petroleum release near the rear of the Reston Hos- 
pital Medical Center in the Hunter Mill District. The release was 
thought to have originated from one of Colonial Pipeline Compeuiy's 
petroleum transmission lines along Fairfax County's western end. 
The source of the release was later confirmed to be Colonial's 36- 



107 

inch pipeline, which at the time of failure was carrying number 2 
fiiel oil, a product commonly used for home heating. 

At the site, our emergency units foimd petroleum product pooling 
in a nearby storm retention pond, covering portions of adjacent 
parking lots, and extending through a combination of storm drain- 
age pipes and wetlands into and down Sugarland Run leading 
north towards the Potomac River. Emergency units quickly moved 
to: Contain as much of the product as possible at the origination 
site; determine the extent of the release; request assistance from 
responsible agencies; and attempt to contain and control the prod- 
uct migrating via Sugarland Run to the Potomac River. 

WitMn an hour, first responders were joined by officials from Co- 
lonial Pipeline, and subsequently by Colonial contractors, local offi- 
cials from the Town of Hemdon and Loudoim Coimty, as well as 
Federal and State representatives. Over 40 local, State, Federal 
and private agencies were notified and were operating on the scene 
within the first six hours of the incident. 

By managing the incident through clearly defined objectives and 
a unified command, resources were effectively employed over the 
next eight days to control and recover a large portion of the esti- 
mated 407,000 gallons of fuel oil that were released. We believe 
this is a model example of local. State, Federal, and private co- 
operation that allowed us to respond well in very difficult and sud- 
den circumstances. 

Although the emergency phase of this incident has ended, we are 
left with unsettling questions about its cause as well as the lessons 
to be taken from our experience. The incident on March 28 is the 
third time in the last 13 years that a petroleum pipeline has re- 
leased a significant amount of product in Fairfax County creating 
public health, safety, and environmental concerns. In each incident 
lives have been disrupted, hundreds of thousands of dollars have 
been spent on clean-up, and extensive investigations of cause and 
effect have been performed. Our experience with these incidents 
leads us to conclude that more effort needs to be focused on: Pre- 
vention through improved, regular, periodic inspections; detection 
of leaks while they are still small; and reducing the volume of prod- 
uct that can be released following a failure, particularly in areas 
where water supplies are involved. 

No one of these three efforts alone will prevent reoccurrence of 
the failure we experienced. Each of these action areas must be up- 
graded and used in combination to improve leak detection. 

The regulation of interstate pipelines is clearly a Federal respon- 
sibility. I imderstand that Federal officials are investigating this 
incident, and I strongly urge that they use information learned 
from this and other pipeline failures to strengthen pipeline regula- 
tions and improve inspection and monitoring of pipeline installa- 
tions and operations. 

We specifically suggest that the Department of Transportation 
Office of Pipeline Safety intensify the types, intervals, and methods 
of pipeline inspections. This should include authorizing local gov- 
ernments to inspect and monitor pipeline construction and repair 
using Federal standards. 

"Smart pigs" and "cahper pigs" that detect abnormalities in pipe- 
line wall thickness should be mandated at regular intervals for all 



108 

sizes of main and lateral lines. Improved c£dibration standards 
should be established reg£irding what size of defect in a pipe can 
be detected by inspection pigs. For example, there were reportedly 
scars on the outside of the pipe that contributed to the final pipe 
rupture in Fairfax County. Whey weren't these defects detected by 
the inspection pig? We should know what level of confidence, or put 
another way, what size of defects, we can really expect to detect 
fi*om inspection by these pigs. It would appear the sensitivity and 
calibration control of these pigs need great improvement to help 
prevent problems such as we have experienced. 

In some cases it may be appropriate to require that the damaged 
line be uncovered. Additional inspection by means of internal or ex- 
ternal devices should be required for any repaired or adjacent sec- 
tion of pipeline to assure pipe and weld integrity before the pipe- 
line is returned to service. 

More precise technologies that monitor product flow should be 
mandated to detect sm^ losses of product from initial pipeline 
cracks before tiiey become catastrophic. I understand that highly 
precise flow measurement technology to detect very small leaks has 
been used on the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. I also am told that the 
nuclear industry uses varied means to achieve leak detection before 
rupture. Since improved technologies exist, they should be used in 
the pipeline industry. 

Particularly in densely populated areas such as Fairfax County 
and where water supphes are involved, pipelines should also be re- 
quired to have additional isolation valves. For example, an addi- 
tional estimated 100,000 gallons of product was discharged on 
March 28 after the pipeline was shut down. 

The pipeline industry has demonstrated an admirable safety 
record relative to other forms of petroleum transportation. How- 
ever, that record is far fi*om perfect. As painfully demonstrated by 
the March 28 Colonial release, an incident of this kind poses seri- 
ous consequences. We believe the cost of prevention is less and a 
better investment than the cost of clean-up. 

As bad as this incident was, can we imagine, for example, the re- 
sult had the released product been gasoline rather than fuel oil? 
The consequences could have been far more grave and in addition 
to all that happened, we might be talking today about massive 
evacuations, potential explosions, and acute dangers to Ufe and 
property. We do not want that to occur in Fairfax Coimty or any- 
where else. We, therefore, strongly recommend that the Federal 
Government improve its oversight of this very critical aspect of 
interstate commerce by upgrading the pipeline system in the three 
basic areas I have discussed at a minimum. 

In closing, I wish to express my deep appreciation to our Fairfax 
County agencies and employees for their prompt and professional 
response to this urgent problem. I also want to thank my colleague. 
Supervisor Bob Dix, who represents the Hunter Mill District, for 
his outstanding leadership in helping bring the resources together 
to handle this emergency. I believe the consequences of this mas- 
sive rupture would have been far worse in most other loccd commu- 
nities that are simply not as well equipped or prepared to handle 
such a crisis. 



109 

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman and Representative Byrne, for 
your concern by holding this hearing. I would be pleased to answer 
questions or furnish additional information for the record. 

Mr. Garegnani. Good afternoon. I am chair of the Friends of 
Sugarland Run. I appreciate this opporhmity to share my group's 
view on the Colonial pipeline spill of fuel oil into the environ- 
mentally sensitive area oi Sugarland Run in March 1993. 

Just some backgroimd on the Friends of Sugarland Run. We are 
a group of citizens and business people who have come together to 
protect one of the last natural areas in the heavily urbanized re- 
gion of northern Fairfax and eastern Loudoun Coimties. Our goal 
is to establish a continuous greenway along the 10 mile Sugarland 
Run stream valley to support a diversity of wildlife and allow their 
migration from the Potomac River deep into Fairfax County. As 
part of a national greenway movement in this country, the FOSR 
intends to accompHsh this with minimal public funds using volun- 
teers to raise funds, perform monitoring, and provide necessary 
labor. In fact the FOSR had just, prior to the spill, received from 
the Conservation Fund a grant from the DuPont Greenways 
Award. 

As part of the effort to establish a greenway, we have spent time 
identifying threats to the habitats along Sugarland Run. We were 
lulled into thinking that the most significant threats were pri- 
marily from the heavy development in the watershed causing se- 
vere sedimentation and erosion problems degrading the ability of 
the stream to support the aquatic Ufe which starts the food chain 
for a healthy habitat. Suddenly a threat we weren't even aware of 
destroyed the existing Sugarland Run ecosystem in a matter of 
hours by dimiping over 400,000 gallons of number 2 fiiel oil into 
the stream. 

There are several aspects of this disaster that are now apparent 
and which we find disturbing due to the lack of adequate controls 
and potential reoccurrence of a spill. 

Lack of regular internal inspection of the pipeline to measure 
wall thickness using "smart pigs". The technology for this exists 
but is not being applied. Lack of post-construction inspections. Co- 
lonial was aware of the construction at the Reston Hospital site 
and even excavated the pipe to aid in its protection, but they did 
not visually inspect the pipe before it was re-buried. 

Lack of adequate shut off valves leaving vast distances between 
valves. Even though the pipeline was shut down almost imme- 
diately after the burst occurred, over 400,000 gallons were dumped 
into the stream. The pipeline which burst in March usually carries 
gasoline. If the spill would have been of 400,000 gallons of gasoline 
with its explosive potential and high levels of carcinogens, the dis- 
aster would have been terribly worse. 

These weaknesses reflect decisions made by Colonial for which 
no Federal guidance, regulations or negative incentives exist to 
adequately protect environmentally sensitive areas. The decisions 
made by Colonial were based upon their economic feasibility with 
regard to profitabiHty. This is to be expected from a free enterprise 
system and I will be the first to say it is the best system in the 
world. However, it depends upon some level of control to make up 
for the gap between the good of the corporation and the overall 



110 

public good. This disaster clearly points out that the gap between 
corporate and pubhc good is not being adequately addressed by 
interstate pipelme safety controls or negative incentives. 

The hundreds of us who live along Sugarland Run place a very 
high value on the recreation and aesthetic quaUty of the stream 
vadley in our back yards. Unfortunately, that value does not have 
associated with it a dollar price tag. On the other hand, it is very 
easy for a pipeline company to calculate the cost associated with 
a spiU in lost product and fines, to apply a risk factor, and decide 
not to address known weaknesses in their system. This decision 
causes the citizens near the pipeline to carry the burden of risk 
and, if an accident occurs, the value lost by the citizens essentially 
goes to subsidize the pipeline company. It is true that if pipeline 
companies were forced to respond to more government control, the 
price for their products would go up; however, instead of the citi- 
zens who hve near the pipeline subsidizing the real cost of depend- 
ence on these products, tne cost would be evenly spread among all 
the users of the product. There is also a long term benefit to this, 
as members of the committee probably know, higher energy costs 
drive technology for cleaner ana cheaper energy. 

A significant amount of money is now being spent to clean up 
Sugarland Run. Had that money been spent in prevention instead 
of post-accident clean up, we citizens would still be enjoying our 
stream valley instead of trying to keep our kids away from the 
stream, assessing the effects on property values, and worrying 
about when the pipeline may dump gasoline into the stream. 

In summary, from those of us who have lost something of great 
value, we ask this committee to consider more stringent regula- 
tions and fines to prevent continued destruction of our diminishing 
natural areas. 

Thank you for this opportunity to express our views. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you gentlemen. The gentlewoman from Vir- 
ginia. 

Ms. Byrne. Mr. Chairman, I am going to submit questions to all 
of the panel, but I would like to ask Mr. Buttleman from Vfrginia 
we have heard testimony that talks about the one-call laws today 
and they come into question. 

How do you perceive Virginia's one-call laws and what kind of 
enforcement do we have for those in Virginia? 

Mr. Buttleman. Representative Byrne, that is a question that I 
will have to get back to you on. Our analysis of this situation is 
continuing at this time. We are not prepared to make any conclu- 
sions quite yet on that. 

Ms. Byrne. Okay. 

Chairman Davis, does the county have a map that shows where 
Colonial Pipeline is? Do you actually physically nave a map? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, we do. 

Ms. Byrne. When the construction permits were obtained for ex- 
cavation in the area, when Reston Hospital was built, how many 
were obtained and when and by whom? 

Mr, Davis. I don't know if I have it here. We will supply that 
to you within a week. 

Ms. Byrne. My understanding, Mr. Chairman, is that current 
law says that these pipelines have to be at least 50 feet from in- 



Ill 

habitable bxiildings and I was wondering if Fairfax Coimty has any 
regulations itself prohibiting the building within 50 feet of such a 
pipeline. 

Mr. Davis. We don't have one as we speak, but we are in the 
process of looking at it now as a resxilt of this incident. 

Ms. Byrne. When we were out at the site today, Chairman 
Davis, someone mentioned that right along this area where the 
pipeline is currently sited, there is a Virginia Department of High- 
way somebody's right of way for a road. 

Can you tell us what road is going next to this pipeline? 

Mr. Davis. There are numerous roads that go across the pipeline 
throughout the county. The project is paid for by the county, but 
designed and approved by the State. We can try to get you a cross- 
section of every road that runs across. 

Ms. Byrne. I understand it is a proposed roadway or right of 
way. It may be Dominion or the right of way, but it looked to be 
fairly close to the pipeline. 

Mr. Davis. If it were the Fairfax Parkway, that would have been 
designed by the State. We will look at that. There have been nu- 
merous design hearings, but the State Transportation Board con- 
trols that. I will get that information to you in more particulars. 

[The following was received from Mr. Davis:] 



112 




COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA 

County of Fairfax 

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS 
OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN 



sums30 

12000 COVKNMENT CINTBl MIKMWT 

lAIKfAX, VIICINIA 2201S407I 

TEL£l>HONE (7D3) 324-2321 

FAX (703) 324-3955 



The information requested for the record (as clarified by Ms. 
Jennifer Beens of Representative Byrne's staff) is as follows: 



1. Does Fairfax County have any regulations affecting or limiting land use. 
particularly such as locating Inhabitable buildings, within any proximity 
of a pipeline? 

The Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance contains provisions requiring approval 
of a special exception for pipelines, however, there are no provisions that 
provide for any minimum yard requirements or other setback requirements 
for structures located within any proximity of a pipeline. 

2. Is any new construction, particularly related to highways, expected to go 
on near the pipeline In the affected area? 

Future highway plans In the area Include continued construction of the 
Fairfax County Parkway which will parallel the pipeline easement within 
100 feet from the WOU) trail overpass to approximately one quarter mile 
north of Baron Cameron Avenue where It then bears north and away from the 
pipeline easement. Also, a bike path will parallel the easement within 75 
feet of the pipeline. A ramp off the Fairfax County Parkway Is planned to 
cross the pipeline easement at the Baron Cameron Avenue Intersection. 
Also. Hew Dominion Parkway Is planned to cross the easement approximately 
1.800 feet south of the rupture area. 

A thorough review of our records and documents Indicates that plans for a 
townhouse/condomlnlum project near the area have been submitted to Fairfax 
County. The nearest building In the project will be approximately 80 feet 
from the nearest pipeline. This project 1$ In the vicinity of Baron 
Cameron Avenue where It crosses the pipeline. As you are aware, there is 
currently a construction project underway, the Reston Hospital Extension 
parking lot. which Is within the pipeline easement directly over the 
pipeline In the vicinity of the rupture. 



113 



Ms. Byrne. Thank you. That is aU I have, Mr. Chairman 
Mr BORSKI. The Chair thanks the gentlewoman. The Chair also 
would have some questions to submit. 

4. ^^*^^?f ^Sf ^* *° *ii,® hearing additional questions were submitted 
to Mr. buttleman. The questions and responses follow:] 



114 




COMMONWEALTH of VIRQINIA 

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 

Public A Intergovernmental Affairs 
202 North Ninth SL, Suite 900, Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 786-4500 

July 22, 1993 



The Honorable Robert A. Borski 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Committee on Public Works and Transportation 

Chairman, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

Suite 2165, Raybum House OfQce Building 

Washington, DC 20515 



RE: Colonial Pipeline Rupture of March 28, 1993 and Other Pipeline Accidents 
Questions of the Subcommittee 



Dear Congressman Borski: 

As requested, we have responded to the additional questions posed by the 
Subcommittee. The questions posed are listed for reference and followed by our 
response. 

1. Since 1985, Ae State of Urgpiia has sustairted darrutge from seven Colonial Pipeline 
Compare oU s/hHs. In your opinion, has Colonial's response been fully cooperative and did 
they respond t^gg^essivdy to remediate aU damage caused by these ^hDs? 

Our experience is that Colonial Pipeline has responded promptly to their oil spill 
incidents. Although there were occasional temporary shortfalls, they quickly mobilized 
their internal response resources and brought in sufficient contractor resources. They 
always cooperated with the State officials in the containment and removal activities and 
responded to our recommendations and concerns. In no case have we found it necessary 
to initiate enforcement actions for a failure, on Colonial's part, to contain and clean-up 
spills as required by State law. 



115 



2. In your testimony, you discuss sevGul pipeline spills that have occurred in Virgmia in 
recent years. One Sf^ that you did not discuss is the spSl that took place in CentreviUe, 
Virginia in 1987. Colonial discusses this spill in some detail in their testimony, and they 
allege that the building contractor who caused the spUl was not adequately punished for 
vitiating Virginia's 'one<all' statute. Wouldyou comment on whether you think Virginia's 
errforcement of its one-call statute is adeq u at e? 

The Virgima Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act, Virginia's one-call 
statute, does not provide state enforcement authority of its provisions. The State 
Corporation Commission, with the concurrence of the Virgima General Assembly, has 
created a task force that is currently studying the Act and one of the issues imder review 
is the adequacy of enforcement. The Commission has indicated that there is a possibility 
that prop>osed amendments relating to state enforcement of the Act will be brought 
before the 1994 session of the General Assembly. 



3. In your testimony, you stated that as a result of the Colorual pipeline rupture, the fish 
popidation in Sugariand Run had been completely eliminated, and potentially sensitive 
wetland areas had been ejected. Based on your past experience with similar pipeline spills, 
how permanent is the damage to the Sugariand Run area, and how long do you expect it 
win take to fully restore this ecosystem? 

Virginia is conducting a Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) for the 
Sugariand Rim area. The NRDA process mandated in the federal Oil Protection Act of 
1990 is designed to provide a mechanism for determining the environmental damage 
resulting from oil spill events and the measures to be implemented to assure the 
restoration of the ecosystem. Until the study has been completed, I am imable to offer a 
conclusive answer to this question. Our experience with petroleimi spills is that the 
damage to flowing freshwater aquatic ecosystems is very severe in the short term. After 
the initial clean-up, most systems are resilient and there are few long term effects which 
can be observed Jifter several years. 



4. Did representatives from the Commonwealtfi of Vir^rua take arty soU samples of the soil 
located urtder the n^tured pipeline? If so, what petroleum products (Oher than dieselfuel 
were present? 

Samples of Sugariand Run stream sediment were collected by DEQ staff 
immediately following the spill. The stream sediment station closest to the spill site 
contedned polynuclear hydrocarbons (PAH) at the concentration of 0.7 ppm and total 
petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) at 130 ppm. The sediment sample from Sugariand Run 
at the Algonkijm Park access road (located downstream) contained 1320 ppm TPH and 
86 ppm PAH. The classes of compounds found during DEQ sampling were consistent 
with the constituents expected to be found in No.2 fuel oil. 



116 



Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the questions of the Subcommittee. 
Please contact me if you have further questions. 



Sincerely, 




Keith J. Buttleman 
Deputy Director for Public and 
Intergovernmental Affairs 



The Honorable Elizabeth H. Haskell, Secretary of Natural Resources 

Richard Burton, Director of DEQ 

William Woodfin, Deputy Director of DEQ Operations 



117 

Mr. BORSKI. On our final panel, we would welcome Mr. Robert 
Rackleff, President, Friends of Lloyd, Lloyd, Florida; Mr. Stuart 
Schwartz, Director, Interstate Commission for the Potomac River 
Basin, Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations; accom- 
panied by John Corless, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commis- 
sion, Perry Costas, Cluef, Washington Aqueduct Division, U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, and Jim Warfield, Fairfax County Water 
Authority. 

Mr. Rackleff. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

TESTIMONY OF ROBERT RACKLEFF, FRESmENT, FRIENDS OF 
LLOYD, LLOYD, FLORIDA; STUART SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR, 
INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR THE POTOMAC RIVER 
BASIN, SECTION FOR COOPERATIVE WATER SUPPLY OPER- 
ATIONS, ACCOMPANIED BY JOHN CORLESS, WASHINGTON 
SUBURBAN SANITARY COMMISSION, PERRY COSTAS, CHIEF, 
WASHINGTON AQUEDUCT DIVISION, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF 
ENGINEERS, AND JIM WARFIELD, FAIRFAX COUNTY WATER 
AUTHORITY 

Mr. Rackleff. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have submitted writ- 
ten testimony for the record. I will sumr« arize very briefly. 

I am Bob Rackleff, President of the Friends of Lloyd, a citizens 
group in North Florida which has been opposing a proposed gas 
line and pipeline tank mine project in our commimity. 

Lloyd is a small village 15 miles east of Tallahassee. For over 15 
years, if there is one lesson we have learned and one we would like 
to leave with you today, it is this, the Colonial Pipeline spill on 
March 25 was not an isolated situation. Pollution from pipelines is 
a serious national problem that needs the attention of Congress. 

Consider these facts: In the past 23 years, pipelines have spilled 
or leaked three times more than tankers and barges in a com- 
parable 20-year period. 

Pipelines have spilled an annual average of 11.8 milhon gallons 
while water carriers have spilled 11.6 milUon on average. Accord- 
ing to a report released yesterday about pollution by the oil indus- 
try, it estimates that pipelines spill 25 to 30 milhon gallons a year. 
I nave no way of verifying that. 

What you heard earher this afternoon are far different figures. 
Both EPA and AEO have told vou pipelines have a very good 
record for preventing injuries and fatalities, but when it comes to 
preventing pollution, it is a far different stoiy. 

The figures that they use come from the Cfoast Guard which seri- 
ously undercounts pipeline spills. The figures that I have used 
come fi*om annual reports of pipeline safety reported every year by 
the Office of Pipeline Safety. 

To give you an idea of how the Coast Guard figures undercoimt 
the problem, in the 1980s, the Coast Guard reported about 20 mil- 
hon gallons of spills from pipelines under water. During the same 
10 years, 1980 to 1989, the Office of Pipeline Safety counted about 
109 million gallons of pipeline spills. 

About Colonial Pipeline, in the past four years. Colonial spilled 
about 1.5 milhon gallons as reported to the Coast Guard and the 
Office of Pipeline Safety. In the past two years, all pipelines have 



118 

spilled 15.5 million while tankers and barges have spilled 529,893 
gallons. In the last two years, they have spilled 30 times more vol- 
ume than tankers and barges. 

And, in fact, Colonial, in those two years, spilled 37,000 more 
gallons of oil than did all the tankers and barges in the United 
States in 1991 and 1992. And in case you think I am talking about 
ancient history, since the March 28 spill imtil May 10th, the Office 
of Pipeline Safety received 280 telephone reports of pipeline spills. 
One of them was in the Los Angeles area where an Arco pipeline 
spilled 260,400 gallons on April the 6th. 

These statistics tell us something important. 0\ir system of mov- 
ing oil by pipeline without polluting oxir ground and water is bro- 
ken and it needs to be fixed. And at the heart of the problem is 
an industry that has grown complacent with its own primitive op- 
erating and technical standards and a Federal regulatory agency 
which is doing Uttle to solve the problem. 

A year ago when I wrote to the Office of Pipeline Safety to verify 
some of Colonial's claimed environmental record, I received this 
reply, and I quote, "We cannot at this time categorically verify or 
deny them. We would have to imdertake a significant amount of 
validation, analysis and interpretation to arrive at any responsible 
conclusion." 

In other words, the Office of Pipeline Safety had never bothered 
to study the environmental impact of dedly spills bjr oU pipelines. 
So we did our own study using data fi*om the Office of Pipeline 
Safety, Coast Guard, and the Association of Oil Pipelines. 

We adjusted the spill data that I just told you about for ton-miles 
of oil transported by each competing mode and we foimd that pipe- 
lines spill an average of 21,000 gallons of oil per billion ton-miles, 
while tankers and barges spill about 10,000 gallons per biUion ton- 
miles. If pipelines are safer than tankers and barges, then that 
claim certainly does not hold up with the data that are available. 
Now, this comparison is important because Congress and the 
pubHc recognize that tanker barges and spills are a serious prob- 
lem, but not pipelines. 

Another interesting comparison is that ft-om 1979 to 1991, the 
Office of Pipeline Safety collected $427,300 in civil penalties fi-om 
pipeline companies, which during that same period had spilled 126 
million gallons. This works out to penalties of 3.4 cents per gallon 
spilled, which is one of the great regulatory bargains of our time. 
My written testimony details many specific problems with both 
the industry and the Office of Pipeline Safety, but they boil down 
to the reality that there is little compulsion or incentive for pipe- 
line companies to prevent and detect leaks. 

We have heard repeated the industry claim that, well, we lose 
money when we spiU so it is just good business to do everything 
we can to prevent and detect leaks. That simply isn't true. It is far 
cheaper for the industry to let the pipelines leak than it is to invest 
in effective means Uke double-wall pipes and hydrostatic testing. 

In fact, their main objection to advances like this is it would cost 
too much. And when the inevitable spills happen, they blame out- 
side damage. Yet in three out of four pipeline spills, by volimie and 
by number of incidents in the last half dozen years, outside damage 
accounts for only one-quarter of all the pipeline spills. Three-quar- 



119 

ters of it come from things that the company does, either sloppy op- 
eration or equipment failures. 

We need to change the economics by requiring tougher standards 
and imposing heavier costs on companies when they spill. You have 
just heard from Colonial Pipeline that they don't really intend to 
do very much to correct the problems that they have. So it will take 
congressional action. 

Another part of this equation is that the Pipeline Safety Act 
could be more properly called the pipeline company protection act. 
It protects pipeline companies from State and local governments by 
preempting their regiUations that exceed Federal standards and by 
excluding tiiem from negotiations when a pipeline spill happens. 

It protects pipeline companies from lawsuits by owners of prop- 
erty damaged by spills, by barring suits until administrative pro- 
ceedings are finished which could be years. And by its lax stand- 
ards and enforcement, it protects companies from paying the true 
cost of the widespread pollution that they cause. 

Let me briefly svunmarize some of the suggested changes to the 
law which can nelp. First and foremost, encourage States to regu- 
late pipelines by removing the preemption clause that prevents 
tiiem from meaningful participation. 

Second, allow individuals and other interested parties to sue for 
damages and penalties when spills affect them and to allow them 
to participate in what are now essentially secret negotiations be- 
tween tiie Office of Pipeline Safety and the companies. 

I find it ironic that Colonial Pipeline just asked you to allow 
them to sue for injunctive relief from parties which may cause out- 
side damage when they themselves are insulated from that very 
same remedy by the Pipeline Safety Act. 

Third, I would require pipeline companies to report spills over a 
gallon or which produce a sheen on water. Verify and strictly en- 
force accurate reporting so we can get an accurate picture of the 
problem. The pipeline figures that I have given you from the an- 
nual reports include spills that do not include spills that are under 
2,100 gallons or from pipelines that aren't regulated, like gathering 
lines. We simply don't have an accurate picture of the problem at 
this point. 

Fourth, because the Office of Pipeline Safety has dragged its feet 
over the past decade to the neglect of stricter standards. Congress 
should study metitiods to reduce spills by at least half to achieve 
a record that should be at least as good as water carriers. 

Included in these standards would be such technologies as dou- 
ble-wall pipes, hydrostatic testing, monitoring wells and improved 
cathodic protection. We should explore other ideas such as building 
pipelines in critical areas above groimd where we can see leaks 
after they are properly sealed against vandalism and other sorts of 
outside damage. 

While this is under way, we should have a moratoriimi on new 
construction, otherwise we will sdlow the construction of sub- 
standard pipelines destined to leak or spill and continue the sorry 
record of pipelines. 

Finally, we should increase penalties to the levels applied to 
other forms of the oil industry. And let me make one final point. 
It is something that I started thinking about just this morning. 



120 

which was, it seems to me, that part of the problem is that we 
liimp together the regulation of two kinds of pipelines for which the 
problems are very different. We have an agency that regulates both 
natural gas and oil pipelines. 

The problem with natural gas pipelines is a safety problem. They 
blow up and hurt people. They don't pollute, however. The problem 
with oil pipelines is pollution. Whenever they leak, they cause a 
great desd of pollution. They sometimes explode and hurt people, 
but that is a much smaller problem with them than it is with natu- 
ral gas pipelines. 

It seems to me that we ought to consider dividing the regulatory 
responsibihties so that we regulate oil pipelines for what the prob- 
lem really is, which is pollution, regulate natural gas pipelines for 
the public safety aspect. 

I would like to close on that note. Thank you very much for hav- 
ing me here, sir. 
Mr. BORSKI. Okay, Mr. Rackleff, thank you. 
Mr. Schwartz. 

Mr. Schwartz. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the com- 
mittee. We appreciate the opportunity to appear here this after- 
noon. I woTild ask, if I may, that my prepared statement be in- 
cluded in the report. 

I am Stuart Schwartz from the Interstate Commission on the Po- 
tomac River Basin where I am the director of the Section for Coop- 
erative Water Supply Operations and I am here with representa- 
tives of the three major water supphers in the Washington area: 
Mr. John Corless, the manager of water supply operations for the 
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission; Mr. Jim Warfield, Di- 
rector of the Administration Division with the Fairfax Coimty 
Water Authority; and to my far left. Perry Costas, Chief of the Aq- 
ueduct Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And we are 
here to share with you our concerns regarding safety of the region's 
water supply. 

What I would briefly like to do is describe ICPRB's role and the 
role of the Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations in the 
regional management of water supply and spill response and notifi- 
cation and share with you four observations we have drawn from 
the events surrounding the break on March 28th. 

Very briefly, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River 
Basin is a nonregulatory interstate compact commission created in 
1940 with members from the States of Virginia, West Virginia, 
Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia and the Federal Gov- 
ernment. 

The Commission acts to support and enhance the management 
of water and associated lands resources of the basin, and as a re- 
sult of the spill in Sugarland Run on March 28th, we have received 
clear direction from our Commission to imdertake a comprehensive 
assessment of the risk of spill in the Potomac River Basin, both 
from pipelines and from multi-modal transport and stationary 
sources, as well as a review of opportunities for pollution preven- 
tion in the Potomac. 

Again, briefly, the Section for Cooperative Water Supply Oper- 
ations was created to provide regional coordination for the coopera- 
tive water supply for the Washington, D.C. MetropoUtan area. And 



121 

the co-op section is designated as the agency that monitors de- 
mands, allocates flows, schedules reservoir releases in times of 
drought and emergency in order to maximize the reliability of the 
region's water supply. 

The Commission also maintains a transport model that is used 
in the event of spills to the Potomac and we work cooperatively 
with the basin states to provide travel time information, warning 
and notification to mimicipal water supphers using the Potomac. 

From that regional perspective, I would like to briefly share with 
you foxir concerns we nave growing out of the spill on March 28th. 

First and foremost, as I said, we are here to share with you our 
concerns regarding the safety of the region's water supply. We feel 
the bottom line is that as serious as this spill was, shutting down 
the Fairfax County Water Authority for 11 consecutive days, from 
a regional perspective, we dodged the bullet with respect to this 
particular accident. 

If the accident had occurred under slightly different conditions, 
low simimer flows, if the spill had been closer to the Potomac or 
occurred in the Potomac where the pipelines cross into Maryland, 
the consequences could have been severe. Under low flow condi- 
tions, contamination could have been expected to linger in the river 
for weeks. 

In the case of the Washington aqueduct division, which has no 
other source of treatable water but the Potomac, they would quick- 
ly run out of treatable water. Within no more than 48 hours, there 
would be a severe shortage of potable water and some difficult deci- 
sions would have to be made. 

Aside from the economic impacts to the region from the massive 
disruption of municipal and commercial activities, the con- 
sequences to public health and public safety from shortages of pota- 
ble water, water for sanitation purposes, fire protection, would be 
severe. 

We think the consequences would be severe and that these risks 
are real, and in view of the photographs that you have seen in 
some of the earlier testimony, I think you can understand why we 
continue to have ongoing concerns regarding the physical integrity 
of this pipeline, concerns that we think might be most e3cpedi- 
tiously resolved with an independent review of the physical integ- 
rity of this pipeline. 

Beyond these regional concerns, we see some opportunities aris- 
ing out of this accident to reassess the ways in which we manage 
the risks associated with pipelines. And two suggestions I briefly 
offer that might fall in the category of appUcation of appropriate 
technology would be a need that we see for a mechanism to institu- 
tionahze the review of both the technologies that are available and 
the risks that are posed in these transportation corridors to assure 
that the appropriate technology continues to be matched to the 
risks posed from the transport activities as they continue to 
change. 

In respect to the Potomac corridor, we see a need to find a mech- 
anism that would expedite the designation of a high hazard cor- 
ridor, the corridor within which the consequences of an accident 
are recognized as being severe enough that they require the most 
stringent technology. 



122 

In the case of the Potomac water supply, there are pipeline cross- 
ings not only in the Potomac, but also in the watersheds of the 
Occoqu£in and Patuxent Reservoirs which provide the only alter- 
nate sources of supply. So all three sources of supply for the Wash- 
ington D.C. area potentially could be exposed to these accidents 
and we think that this region in particular, this corridor, is a good 
example of one that would warrant this high hazard designation. 

With that, Mr. Chairman, let me conclude in thanking the com- 
mittee for the opportunity to appear here. Happy to answer any 
questions you may have. 

Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Schwartz. The gentleman 
from Oklahoma. 

Mr. Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Rackleff, I must say that after having served in this body 
and sat through these various hearings like this for some six and 
a half years, I think this is the first time this has happened. 

Those who testify prior to you either in person or vicariously tes- 
tified that the pipeline system of transportation is the safest sys- 
tem that we have. We heard fi*om the EPA, from the Coast Guard, 
from the GAO, from the National Transportation Safety, and from 
the Department of Transportation, and having dealt with all these 
organizations for a long period — in fact, I am on the Coast Guard 
Committee and I deal with them quite frequently — I would say 
that in the area of pipeline expertise, we are talking about maybe 
a thousand top ranked technicians all who have come to the same 
conclusion that the pipeline system is the safest system. 

You come in here and contradict them. Why should we believe 
you? 

Mr. Rackleff. Well, I suggest that they read the annual reports 
of pipeline safety, which is what I did. 

Mr. Inhofe. You don't think that these organizations read those 
reports? 

Mr. Rackleff. Well as I told you before, they were looking at a 
different database. They are looking at the — ^what is called the 
ERNS, Emergency Response Notification System. It is a databank. 
It originates from Coast Guard data and it does not accurately re- 
flect the extent of pipeline spills in America. 

For example, I received a copy of the report — ^the Coast Guard 
report on the pipeline spill in — ^near Hemdon on March 28th and 
its entry for the column that says amount spilled says zero, so 

Mr. bJHOFE. Although there isn't time now, I would advise the 
chairman that I will be asking the questions of those individuals 
who have — and entities who have already testified if they have 
made themselves or this data available to them for their conclu- 
sions. 

In the opening of your written testimony, you state that your pri- 
mary concern over four years has been the Friends of Lloyd. 

Mr. Rackleff. Yes. 

Mr. Inhofe. Among other things, to stop construction of the Tex- 
aco gas line tank farm and Colonial pipeline project, et cetera, et 
cetera. Who is Friends of Lloyd? 

Mr. Rackleff. The Friends of Lloyd is a citizens group. It is 
made up of— -that has had the active participation of roughly 1,500 
people in the last four yegirs who have gone to hearings, who have 



123 

contributed to our treasury, who have come to rallies that we have 
had, they have written letters on our behalf. It has been 

Mr. Inhofe. You are the President? 

Mr. Rackleff. And I am the President of it. 

Mr. Inhofe. Who are the other officers? 

Mr. Rackleff. My wife and my sister-in-law. We are incor- 
porated. It is a nonprofit organization, and as I said, we have had 
the active participation of roughly 1,500 people. 

Mr. Inhofe. It would take a lot of money to do the work that you 
do. And could you tell me your funding source? And specifically, is 
the Florida AUiance actively involved in supporting you in your ef- 
forts? 

Mr. Rackleff. The Florida Alliance has been actively involved 
and they have contributed roughly $300,000 for our legal expenses. 
We have raised another $100,000 or more fi'om individuals and 
other organizations. It is a — it is a very expensive proposition to go 
up against a major oil company and a company like Colonial Pipe- 
line. 

Mr. Inhofe. It may be expensive — I was looking at the receipts 
of the Florida AUiance and find that in one of their year-to-date 
statements dated May 31st of 1990 they talk about raising during 
that period of time in contributions $153,000. Half came from the 
Port Everglades Authority, and the Port Everglades Authority — in 
fact, all of these individuals who made — or entities that made con- 
tributions are movers or transporters, all except the pipeline indus- 
try. 

So wouldn't it appear that those individuals or entities there 
would have a prejudiced perspective? 

Mr. Rackleff. Perhaps they do. What we have is what is called 
a coaUtion. It is — ^we aU have a common interest in stopping the 
Colonial pipeline project because it is environmentally hazardous, 
and they are — the Florida Alliance has its reasons and I have my 
reasons. 

Mr. Inhofe. For clarification, Mr. Rackleff, on three different 
documents I noticed the figures that your Friends of Lloyd received 
from the Florida AUiance. At one time, it is $190,000, one time it 
is $300,000, then again I saw a figure of $600,000. What is the 
amount that you have received from the Florida AUiance? 

Mr. Rackleff. We have received about $300,000 for our legal ex- 
penses. Not everjrthing that the Florida AUiance spends comes to 
the Friends of Lloyd. 

Mr. Inhofe. Because I know we are out of time, and I want to 
give the gentlelady from Virginia the last five minutes, I would like 
to read the first three paragraphs of an editorial from the Miami 
Herald dated August 22, 1991. 

Keep in mind that the Port Everglades Authority is the largest 
contributor to the Florida AlUsince. I wiU read this and then submit 
the rest for the record, Mr. Chairman. 

"Snuffle, snuffle, once again here comes the Florida AlUance wad- 
dling towards the pubUc trough. This Uttle piggy is already fat on 
more than $600,000 in pubUc fimds. 

The Florida AUieince pretends to be a coaUtion of maritime busi- 
nesses interested in staving off environmental disaster or, in its 



124 

words, in leveling the regulatory playing field between oil tankers 
and pipelines. 

"In reality, the Alliance survives because of politicians who dip 
into the Port Everglades public till for their patrons. In shipping, 
leveling the playing field means using the regulatory process to 
strangle competition. For this, the public has paid more than $1,5 
milUon." 

I ask unanimous consent to submit the entire text of that Miami 
Herald editorial for the record, 

Mr. BORSKI. So ordered. 

Mr. Inhofe. I have no other questions. 

Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Racklefif. 

Mr. Rackleff. I would like the opportunity to submit other news 
articles as well that directly contradict the claims tiliat Colonial 
Pipeline has made to you. 

Mr, BORSKI. The record will remain open. 

[The articles submitted by Mr, Rackleff follow:] 



125 



4 / Thursday, June 10. 1993 Florida Flambeau 

Florida Flambeau 



Out of hand 

The Saturday araMi <rf an historic country store in Lteya^owned by 
tenacious environmental activist Bob Rackleff was no doubt a retaliation 
against Rac]de£rs actions as the vanguard of the fight against the 
Colonial Pipeline company. 

Rackleff, who has fought for -more than four years to prevent the 
company from r unning a gas pipeline from Bainbridge, Ga. to a storage 
facility in the small Jefferson County town because of potential 
environmental damage, has been the victim of a smear campaign by 
Colonial officials. 

As most readers know, the Flambeau has taken a position against 
Colonial's efforts. Like Rackleff, many Jefferson County residents, 
several local government "fRriaU in Tallahassee and Leon County, and 
many others, we are concerned that damage to a gas pipeline could spell 
environmental disaster. 

A pipeline catastrophe could easily affect Leon County residents. The 
Floridan aquifer, an underground reservoir from which all of North 
Florida and much of Central Florida gets its drinking water, could 
potentially be t^'in*^ as a result of a spill. One need only look at the 
recent massive Col«iial pipeline spill in Virginia to see the danger 
involved. 

This basic fact is the impetus for the propaganda the company has 
disseminated in its effort to destroy Rackleff's reputation. Colonial's 
message is clearly designed to rally community support in favor of the 
pipeline project, wdiidi Colonial officials also say will bring jobs to the 
community. 

While we would never imply that Colonial officials are directly 
responsible for the destruction of Rackleff's country stw«, which was 
built in 1910 and was listed in the National Registry of Historic Sites, 
the pipeline company's anti-Rackleff rtietoric no doubt inflamed the 
emotions of some crazy, spurring him or her to torch the store in an 
ill-conceived effort to further deter Rackleff from his fight. 

Interestingly, in one of several Colonial bocJdets sent to all Jefferson 
County property owners earlier this year. Colonial had these seemingly 
prophetic words about Rackleff and the sUsre: 

'... The "historic* Lloyd store he owns and repeatedly says he 
intends to restore is a bumed-out eyeaare in the middle ot town. 

"One benefit from the pipeline and terminal Mr. Rackleff might 
welcome is Texaco's promise of a fire truck and training for Lloyd's 
volunteer fire department. With that trudi at the ready, Lloyd residents 
could respond more effectively if Mr. Rackleffs store catches fire 
again while he drives over from his home in Tallahassee.* 

We hope the state fire marshal will be able to determine who torched 
Rackleffs country store. More impcartantly, we hope those who have 
sided with pipeline advocates in the past, will recognize the divisive — 
and now destructive — seeds Cidonial has sewn in the little town of lioyd. 

There will be a fundraising benefit concert for RacklefTs 
efforts to defeat the Colonial pipeline project Friday the 
18th at the Warehouse. Several musical acts, including Bill 
Wharton, will be on hand starting at 8 p.m. There will be 
a $7 cover charge. 



126 



Zi)t free Cance-Star 

I KHOERlCKSBURt;. VIRGINIA 
IHLRSDAY. SEPTEMBER 10. 1992 



ENVIRONMENT 




To dramatize the < 



nmenlal ugliness o* a tank farm. Rackleff poses next to a set of rusting tanks in Tallahassee, Fla. 



Fighting Big Oil 



When Robert Rackleff started to re- 
store his Florida dream house, he 
thouKht of Fredericksburg. 
He had passed through the city 
only twice, about 13 years ago. on a tnp from Wash- 
ington to Norfolk and back again 

He recalled the'beauly of the Rappahannock 
River, the charm of the 19th century architecture 
downtown. He envisioned similar restorations on 
the 19th century homes in his tiny panhandle town 
of Lloyd. 

Now, Rackleff looks to Fredencksburg lor an ex- 
ample of a different kind He looks at the time in 
1989 when the Virginia city shut off its water sup- 
ply because a petroleum spiU had polluted the I^p- 
pahannock. 

He looks at the environmental problems that lin- 
ger, the cost of the cleanup, the frustration of Fred- 
ericksburg officials- 

And he says Colonial Pipeline, the culpnt m Fred- 
ericksburg, will do the same thing to Uoyd 

Rackleff lias always been interested in the envi- 
ronment Twenty years ago. he wrote a book. "Qose 
to Crisis— Environmental Problems in Florida " 
At the time, he didn't even think to include oil pipe- 
lines as one of those problems. 

Now. he can't slop thinking about them 

The object of Rackleff's dread is a petroleum tank 
farm in Lloyd, a town about 15 miles east of Talla- 
hassee, in Jefferson County. 

The story is long and comphcated. but this is the 
crux of it. 

Right now. the tank farm only exists on paper. 



Bob Rackleff says his small Florida 
town is threatened by the same 

pipeline company that's 
responsible for two major spills 
near Fredericksburg. To some, 
Rackleff is standing in the way of 
economic progress; to others he's 
sounding an important 
environmental warning. 



but three oil companies— Texaco Amoco, and 
Citgo— have permission from Jefferson County to 
build in Lloyd. 

Now it's ail up to Atlanta-based Colonial PipeUnc. 
which is trying to get approval to build a line thiii 
would supply the tank farm 

The most direct route from Colonial Pipeline's 
Georgia facilities to Uoyd is through adjoming I -eon 
County, the county that includes Tallahassee. But 
Leon officials have said no, and a court upheld their 
decision. 

So Colonial Pipeline is trying to secure a route 
through Jefferson County, and Rackleff and his sup- 
pnrtprs ^Tp t'^ing to ^top th'^m 

"They can't say, 'If we come here, we will not 
pollute." Up until now, these facilities have ahva\ s 
polluted," Rackleff says. 

The project, he says, would ruin Uoyd. 

What is so special about Uoyd? That depends on 
whom you talk to. 
"There'sjustasignthere. crossroads, and a few 

homes." says Richard Calupca , the semor mana»:iT 
of Colonial's western region 

Rackleff looks at it a bttle differently 

"Uoydiskindof a state of mind." he sd>s. Willi 
a laugh. About 300 people bve m the central village 
area. About 2,000 more Uve withm a ^mile radius. 

The town sprang up in the mid-1800s around a 
railroad station The trams still go throughlhere. 
but prosperity has passed it by The mam street 
is unpaved, and most downtown businesses closed 
years ago. 

The Rackleffs' house was built m the 1850s. It luid 
belonged to a friend of the couple, and Bob and his 

Please see Pipeline oaqo Di' 



127 




128 




129 



rirLLii\L: 

Indisputable 
statisUcs are 
unavailable 

the area by moving petroleum 
more safely, does ii belong above 
the precious Flondan Aquifer? 

Aquifer's the source 

of water — and controversy 

The Flondan Aquifer floats bke a 
huge, water-soaked limestone sponge 
under all of Florida and parts of AJa- 
bama, Georgia and South Carolina 

There's about a 90i)erceni 
chance that the water you draw 
from your kitchen tap is Rondan 

The aquifer is also the source for 
recreational waters — Wakulla 
Springs and the SL IS4arks and Wa- 
kulla nvere. 

The aquifer is replenished as wa- 
ter flows through the ground and 
sinkholes scanered thrtxigh the lime- 
stone-anchored regioa 

Stabbing tus hoger at a map of 
the proposed pipeline route. Leon 
County Commissioner Gary Yordon 
works himself into a lather because 
the pipeline would lie entirely within 
^ne of these replenishment areas of 
■•h;gh recharge" 

There's only one way to assure 
that ii won't affect your water supply 
and that's if it's not over it," Yordon 
says 

Fighting the pipeline has become 
a raison d'etre for Yordon, who 
counts the issue as a main reason 
for his plans to run for a third term 
in 1994. 

Scores of speakers at Jefferson 
County pubUc hearings have plead- 
ed the same case — that any risk to 
the aquifer is too great to take. 

One gallon of gasoline will con- 
taminate 1 million gallons of water 
to the extent that fish will die, says 
opponent Bob Rackleff. 

But Colonial and Texaco offi- 
cials say thousands of dollars worth 
of scienufic studies prove the aqui- 
fer will be adequately protected t^ 
the project's engineering. 

Tom Kwader. a hydrogeologist 
hired by the oil interests to study 
the risks, then paid by Jefferson 
County to present them at a public 
heanng. downplays concerns. 

Kwader says petroleum that 
leaked into a sinkhole would float 
and never enter the aquifer. 

Bui Tom Pratt, chief of the 
groundwater bureau for the North- 
west Florida Water Management 
District, says petroleum products 
regularly dissolve and sink in waler 

Statistics abound 
for making each case 

Underground oil qnlls are bard to 
visualize. No oily l>eaches. No sorry 

But visualize this Each year, 
more petroleum spills from pip^es 
than the 11 milhon gallons that 
leaked into the Alaskan wilderness 
from the Exxon Valdez in 1389. 

Of the 100 worst spills that took 
place in the 12 months following the 
Valdez disaster, pipelines accounted 
for 46 spUls. tank farms tor 16. releas- 
ing 8.5 million gallons for 79 percent 
of the total spilled, Rackletl wrote in 
an article published by The Wash- 
ington Post 

Colonial spokesman John Bal- 
lentine has campaigned in person. 



by phone and through advertising 
to shift the spoUight to barge, tank- 
er and nucktralflc, saying the pipe- 
line win be cleaner and safer.. 

Most spills have , occurred In 
pipelines built with old technology, 
some of wtii<Ui d^te back to Colo- 
nial's flrst In 1962, Ballentlae says. 

And Colonial's record of spills )S 
seven times better than the pipeline 
industry's average, be sayi' 

Both sides have statistics to bol- 
ster their sides — thai the other 
mode of trajisportatioD Is dirtier 
and more dangerous. 

Unassailable statistics are urv 
available No federal or state agen- 
cy collects them. 

Feder^ law does not require the 
reporting of most pipeline spills of 
fewer than 2.100 gallons. 

But the petroleum industry 
agrees there Is a problem. Ray 
Karnes, of the Petroleum Market- 
ing Association of Wisconsin, says 
100 percent of. his organlzabon's 
members' abov&f;round tanks have 
coniaminaied the ground around 



Cleaning the groundwater con- 
taminated by above-ground storage 
tanks cost the petroleum industry 
r790 milhon a year, according to the 
US Envtronmental Protection 
Agency. '^ 

That does not include reimturs- 
mg resldentsrfpr fi^c^I Qeeds, 
property loss orfbe^ cost of Ihfl lost 
product ^Ai-^'i'- ■' '' . 

BallentUie(t^ys~^tQSt 1$ an |QCCp- 
tive not to ^iU. i - '" -'^''^f' 

But ^Uisjiiappgn: - :■ '/(■ 

And once- they -^Jiappen, ifs 
cheaper to Ignore' them "than to 
clean them up, says Lois Epstein, an 
engineer with the Environmental 
Defense Fund. 

Colonlal to public: 
Trust our safe^ards 

Colonial's pipeUne will span 60 
miles in length and 12 inches in di- 
ameter, made of steel seven-thirty- 
secondstb- to . nirtQ4tUrty-secondsth- 
of-an-inch tblck. 

Its walls and welds will have been 
tested to a pressure of 1^ pounds 
per square Inch. Its products will 



move at pressures between 60 and 
100 psi, although at other spots along 
thejine to the north, pressures rise to 
1.40a says Colonial project coordina- 
tor Joel Boisven 

Tliat Is as specific as^ pipeline 
plans ge( /tght now, say? company 
spokesman BallenCm?. 

But Ballentloe says the public can 
trustihat shut-cir valves will be close 
enough together, thalleak-checking 
machines called "'traart pigs" will be 
used frequently enough, and that the 
pipeline will be padded and protect- 
ed enough to avoid spills. 

And Colonial has other means of 
detecUng leaks once they happea Pi- 
lots fly in search of dead vegetation, 
dogs sniff for fumes, and computers 
measure pressure changes within the 
pipes, to name a few. 

All of these protections did not 
prevent a March 28 spill in Virginia 
from leaking 407,000 gallons of Colo- 
nial petroleum Into a tributary of the 
Potomac River 

The Virginia pipelined technol- 
ogy was basically the same as is 



planned here, but the line was signifi- 
canUy larger — 36 inches in 
diameter 

Colonial has been fined J2^ mil- 
lion for that spill, which has led to 
congressional hearing and pledges 
by Secretary of Transportation Fe- 
derico Pena that lougher pipeline 
regulations are on the way. 

Led by Rackleff, pubUc outcry 
during the tank farm's two-year ap- 
proval process in Jefferson County 
caused plans for the 23-acre terminal 
to exceed legal requirements Ifs fi- 
nal cost wiU be twice the original 
estimates, Texaco representatives 
say. 

Two plastic liners and an 18-inch 
layer of clay would protect the 
groundwater from a possible spill 
There would be a built-in fire-protec- 
tion system And piping within the 
terminal would be above grtxind for 
easy inspection. 

Colonial officials expect the same 
for the pipeline. 

"If and when we get this project 
going, it will probably be the safest 



"This situation here is 
very unique for us. 
Nowhere, ever, have 

we had opposition like 

this. " 

— Joel Boisvert, Colonial 
protect coordinator 



pipehne in the wortd when (Rack- 
leff) is through with us." says 
Ballentine. 

The companies cite other advan- 
tages to the pipeUne. 

Although 100 trucks a day would 
dehver petroleum to Tallahassee ana 
regional gas stations, fewer trucks 
would make the dnve Irom SL 
Marks, says Texaco attorney Guyte 
McCord. 

Gas prices could fall a nickel a 
gallon, Colonial offiaals say. due to 
added competition. As business 
dropped at the SL Marks terminal, so 
would the amount of spillage there 
And property-lax revenue would go 
10 cash-starved Jeftereon County. 

The companies would like to be 
more trusted. 

"Our opponents are always ask- 
ing. "What if this were to happen, 
what if that were to happen?" . . 
We'll have contingency plans ' in 
place to clean up," says Boisvert He 
predicts the odds of an accident as 
"so infinitesimal that irs probably 
not even worth considering" 

Huge profits at stake: 
future plans unclear 

Texaco otGcials swear they have 
no plans to expand the tank farm 
beyond the five tanks, stonng 6.3 mil- 
lion gallons, now planned. 

But Amoco and Qtgo have ex- 
pressed Interest in the project. Bdis- 
vert says. And the big oil markels'Of 
Jacksonville and Central and South 
Florida are a temptation. 

"We cant rule that out — thai 
Colonial someday will end up going 
there," Boisvert says 

His statement is at odds with ear- 
lier promises to the contrary made 
by Ballentine and McCord. 

Colonial serves nine oil compa- 
nies other than Texaco, including 
Amoco and Qtgo. 

Tallahassee, with population 
grov^ pn^ected at 20 percent by 
the turn of the century, is a npe 
markeL Rorida is the largest single 
slate market not yet served by an 
interstate petroleum pipehne 

So there are big profits at stake 

Colonial estimates it would grab 
555,000 gallons a day in business 
from the St Marks barge interests, 
represented liy the Flonda Alliance, 

Tliat r ^ ) r es en ts $10-20 million a 
year in wholesale profits to Texaco, 
according to two industry analysts, in 
addition to about $6 million to 
Colonial 

And it represents such a loss to 
the SL Marks barge interests,' repre- 
sented tjy the Flonda Alliance, thai 
they have contnbuted (300.000 to the 
pipeline's environmental opposiuon 
movanenL 

And there's more rrwney coming, 
says Rackleff, who has a many- 
pronged strategic plan to continue 
the figbL ' 

So much for the raitine projecL 

This sltuatioo here is ve^y 
unique for us^" says Boisvert. "No- 
where, ever, have we had opposition 
like this." 



130 



REGUIATIOIVS: Eminent domain is a 
serious issue in tiie pipeline struggle 



Colonial Pipeline officials dis- 
agree with the GAO. They applaud 
the government's system of 
regulation. 

"With more than 200,000 miles of 
oil pipelines in the United States, 
the federal government has the ex- 
perts, the staff and the expertise to 
regulate pipelines," said one of 
three Colonial brochures published 
to state the company's viewpoint on 
the pipeline. 

But the federal Office of Pipe- 
line Safety — which is responsible 
for regulating hazardous-liquid pipe- 
lines — has only three inspectors to 
cover seven states in the southeast- 
em United States. 

Only one agency, and 
not 'a very big program' 

The agency acknowledged in 
. 1989 that it routinely inspects records 
, in offices rather than pipes in the 
ground. 

"We don't have a very big pro- 
gram," says Cesar de Leon, OPS reg- 
ulatory program director in Wash- 
4ngton. 



But OPS has the only federal 
progrjim. 

E)e Leon says states do more in- 
specting than OPS. This isn't so in 
Florida, he says, because Florida is 
not among the 10 states that regulate 
hazardous-liquid pipelines. 

The petroleum industry is ex- 
empted from Superfund regulation, 
due at least in part to heavy lobbying 
by oil interests when Superfund was 
created. 

Spills of petroleum must be re-, 
ported under Qean Water Act regu- 
lations, but no federal reporting re- 
quirements exist for underground 
releases or leaks, according to Lois 
Epstein, an engineer with the Envi- 
ronmental Defense Fund in 
Washington. 

Landowners worry 
about pipeline route 

Many property owners in South 
Georgia and Jefferson County fear 
their lands will be marred by the 
clear-cuts required to keep a pipe- 
line's path visible. They worry that 
land values will fall and that their 
lands' uses will be limited because 



construction cannot take place on 
the pipeline's right-of-way. 

Since 1957, oil pipelines have 
wielded the power of eminent do- 
main in Florida 

That means they can condemn 
and purchase the property they want 
and landownere" only recourse is to 
sue. 

That process has begun in Jeffer- 
son County, where owners of proper- 
ty along Colonial's preferred route 
have received forms that grant, for 
$25, consent for a survey. The forms 
carefully state that the fee is a "cour- 
tesy" and that permission is granted 
not by the owner but by the law. 

More litigation 
may be ahead 

The opposition Is meeting Colo- 
nial and Texaco every inch of the 
way. Eminent domain may be the 
source of a 12th lawsuit against the 
project, and a 13th lawsuit has t)een 
threatened as well 

Opponents' attorneys are prepar- 
ing a constitutional challenge of the 
state's eminent-domain law. 

Leon County has threatened to 
sue Jefferson County, saying the 
plans violate the Comprehensive 
Plan. 

What seemed so simple five years 
ago has been anything but 



131 



12a 



ST. PETERSBURG TIMES 



WEDNESDAY. JULY 25. 1990 



opinion 



EDITORUU.S 



Safe, but not safe enough 



■ The Colonial Pipeline Co. and Texaco may have 
tiiought they had an ideal plan when they proposed 
to extend a pipeline from Bainbridge, Ga., and build 
a petroleum products tank farm at the small north 
Florida community of Lloyd. The site was adjacent 
to an interchange on Interstate 10, only 16 miles 
east of the fast-growing Tallahassee market. Tiny 
Jefferson County would be grateful for the addition- 
al property taxes. And with only 300 people living 
at Lloyd, there wasn't much risk of significant 
opposition. 

■ But one of those residents happened to be 
Robert Rackleff, a free-lance writer and public 
relations consultant whose resume includes 
speech-writing for President Jimmy Carter, two 
Cabinet members and a U.S. senator. When Rack- 
leff, a Tallahassee native, came home years ago, it 
was just after working in the corporate headquar- 
ters of Time Inc. 

Rackleff knew how to fight even big corpora- 
tions like Colonial and Texaco. A year and a half 
later, their project is stalled by a lawsuit alleging 
zoning and sunshine law violations, and state policy- 
nlakers are faced with a controversy that won't go 
away regardless of how the litigation concludes. 

Among other things, the dispute has highlighted 
serious loopholes in Florida's environmental laws. 
For example, Jefferson County has only five 
full-time firefighters. Tampa needed 50 to tontrol 
the fire that raged at a Hooker's Point tank farm 
April 15 after a fatal explosion involving vapor 
recovery equipment like that the Lloyd facility 
would use. Should a similar disaster strike at Lloyd, 
Jefferson County would need help from neighboring 
Tallahassee — but it is Jefferson County, not 
Tallahassee, that will be receiving Texaco's taxes. 

The shortcomings in fire protection almost 
certainly would disqualify the Texaco tank farm if it 
were presented as a development of regional im- 
pact (DRI) imder the state's growth management 
laws. But the tank farm is projected at 157,000 
barrels, just 3,000 fewer than the minimum level at 
which the Department of Community Affairs could 
assert jurisdiction and classify it as a DRI. Any 
petroleum storage facility should reqviire DRI ap- 
proval. 

Though pipeline companies have the right of 

I eminent domain, which allows them to condemn 

j land and lay pipe almost anywhere they please, 

there are insufficient environmental and public 

safety safeguards under either state or federeil law. 

This is a critical issue, because the federal Office of 

J Pipeline Safety (OPS) customarily delegates re- 

\' sponsibility wholesale to state fire marshals. 



Though the OPS has oversight of 1.7-million miles 
of pipe carrying hazardous materials, it employs 
only 15 inspectors. Hearings by Congress and the 
National Transportation Safety Board have ex- 
plored the weakness. With more petroleum pipe- 
lines coming to Florida, including a major line from 
Port Tampa to Fort Myers, Florida plainly needs to 
assure itself that the state fire marshal's office is 
staffed for the challenge. 

Florida also needs a law imposing strict environ- 
mental standards on the pipeline routes and requir- 
ing carriers and terminal operators to post bonds or 
proof of insurance against spills, fires and explo- 
sions. Florida's dependence on ground water leaves 
little margin for error. 

But the Lloyd experience should not become a 
pretext for barring pipelines, as some of the proj- 
ect's opponents are trying to do. The Florida 
Alliance, a lobby supported by the Port Everglades 
Authority and several maritime shippers and mari- 
time unions, has been trying to persuade county 
commissions in north Florida to pass prohibitive 
local pipeline ordinances. It has asked the Legisla- 
ture to repeal eminent domain for pipeline compa- 
nies, which for all practical purposes would stop 
them in their tracks. (The alliance has also helped 
to pay for the Friends of Lloyd lawsuit, even though 
a pipeline from Bainbridge to Lloyd poses no con- 
ceivable competition to barge and tanker traffic at 
Port Everglades.) 

The fact is that pipelines are a relatively safe 
means of transporting hazardous liquids. A 1988 
report of the Transportation Research Board of the 
National Research Council said that liquid pipeline 
casualty rates, adjusted for volimie and distance, 
are "significantly lower" than those for rail and 
truck transport and "only slightly higher than for 
transportation by water." 

They are not, however, safe enough. Some 
10,000 failures in the years 1971 through 1986 
spilled nearly 5-million barrels of petroleum prod- 
ucts, causing 178 deaths and 770 injuries. It's small 
consolation to say losses would have been greater 
had all that fuel been carried by rail and truck, or to 
rationalize that outside forces such as train derail- 
ments and careless backhoe operators were most 
frequently the cause. 

This is why Florida should pass a responsible 
pipeline siting law — one that would both allow the 
state to overrule unreasonable local restrictions 
and also keep pipelines and tank farms away from 
encroaching development and out of places like 
Lloyd, where they shouldn't be. 



132 



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133 



^-^ Tallahassee Democfai/Tue . Mi 

Opinion 



Our 

VIEW 



The ediionals below represent the 
opinion o( ihis edilonal board" 

Carrol Dadlsman, publisher 
Bob SlIH, execuitve edilor 
Bill Mansfield, edilonal page edilOf 
Susannah Lyie, associate editor 
Jim MInter, associate editor 



Fred Mott 

general manager 



Bill Fuller 
managir^ editor 



Oil pipelines 

Why we can't 'leave it to the feds' 

Pipelines. Federal responsibility, regulalions changed reporting require- 
Right? ments. Before then, spills of 210 or more 

• Best answer Well. er. yes. maybe. P".°"^ h^" '" ."^ ''.^Sltul" ^T'^' ^^r 
• ' ' ' limit was upped to 2.100 gallons (50 bar- 

The Office of Pipeline Safety, in the rels). Subsequently, the number of inci- 

US. Department of Transportation, is dents reported dropped That puts asser- 

charged with oversight of the 1.7 mil- tions about "safety performance" In a 

lions miles of pipelines that traverse the different light. 

nation carrying hazardous liquids. 



which includes petroleum products, and 
natural gas. 



A report put out by the Wilderness 
Society in March looks at a year's worth 



That office has 15 inspectors. In a of spills In "100 Spills, 1.000 Excuses," 

congressional hearing in 1989. one in- the Wilderness Society writes: 
spector said: 

"EssenUally our inspections consist "No one has final figures, but ex- 

primarily of reviewing Iheir operating Pe"s estimate that there have been 

records and their operation and mainte- roughly 10.000 spills since the Exxon 

nance manuals, and spot checking pipe- y.^'?^5_'?''* °.P^"' .P.""",','"?. ^™I;f,!'"'f 
lines in the field. . " 

With limited staffing and resources, 
the Office Pipeline Safety is limited in 
how well it can do its job. 

Pipeline accidents have the polen- 



land and water 
gallons of oil. 



'ith 15 to 20 million 



"The explanations for the spills, 
most of which involve pipelines, are al- 
most as numerous as the spills them- 
lial \a harm water supplies as well as selves Pipelines corrode, their valves 
cause fires. A state oversight role is break, their welds fail, and during the 
needed. 



A bill in the Florida Legislature that 
cleared the Senate Natural Resources 
Committee in early May would give that 
job to the state Department of Environ- 
mental Regulation. Sen. Tom McPher- 
son's bill would allow DER to set rules ,^ , , ^ ., . 
(or the construction and operation of Board of the National Research Council 
pipelines. Currently the DER has over- states, 
sight of fuel storage tanks, and pipelines 
that go across wetlands. 



past year, one pipeline was ruptured by 
a pile driver." 

State regulation is even more crucial 
as Florida continues to be developed. In 
the forward to "Pipelines and Public 
Safety." the Transportation Research 



"The development of residences. 

work places and shopping areas near 

And the Public Service Comrnission once-isolated transmission pipelines. 

which carry gas and liquids at high 

pressures from producing areas to refin- 



and state Treasurer participate in a fed- 
eral program lor natural gas inspection 



A state role is needed in the inspection g^igj ^^ distribution networks, threatens 
of intrastate pipelines carrying hazard- ,(, mcrease the risk of pipeline failure 
ous liquids. caused by inadvertent excavation 

Russell Rockwell, consultant to the damage." 
administrator. Research and Special 

Programs Administration. Department With the federal government taking 

of Transporlalion. says when stales par- a minimalist approach. Florida needs to 
ticipate in inspection of intrastate pipe- step in to the pipeline oversight business 
lines, "the federal government will re- to protect the public's interests, 
imburse . . up to 50 percent of the cost 

of their operations." ,^ . j 

McPherson s bill should go the dis- 

Pipelines transport an awesome tance this legislative session, 
amount of petroleum products annually 
— approximately 500 billion ton miles 
of crude oil and petroleum products, ac- 
cording to a federal report, plus an addi- 
tional 15 trillion cubic feet of natural 



; A special report. "Pipelines and Pub- 
lic Safety." by t^e Transportation Re- 
search Board of the National Research 
Council states. "The safety performance 
of transmission pipelines is good in com- 
parison with that of other transporta- 
tipn modes that carry hazardous 
niaterial." 



Find out more 

The Transportation Research 
Board of the National Research 
Council authored "Pipelines and 
Public Safety." Copies may be ob- 
tained for $14 by writing the board 
at 2101 Constitution Ave. N W.. 
Washington DC. 20418 The Wilder- 
ness Society report, "100 Spills, 1.000 
Excuses." may be obtained for $2 by 
writing the society at 1400 Eye St. 
N W.. Washington DC. 20005. 



134 



■ 1>|L Bun.a»min>l, VVdr>»x»y, April 11. 1»90 N 



^ 



Sun-Sentinel 



OMW«r«tf M blng M* mo»l ImponanI 

Intormatten ptvutOit *t Bnwatd anti 

Palm Maaeti counilaa, norUa 



Tnomtt P. 0'Oonn«ll, Pra*idantA PubUahar 
» ■ 
Qan* Cry«r, editor 

Ecrl Mauokar, Manaeing Editor 

» 

Klna*l«y Ouy. Editorial Pega Editor 



EDITORIALS 



State must regulate oil pipelines 
to reduce threat of water pollution 



Evoryon* ihovld know by now )usl 
how vulnerable Florlda'i fragile 
wetlendi and underground water 
suppUee are to pollution. 
That'* why It'i hard to 
undenund why Florida hat no atate law* at all 
regulating a major threat to thote wetlands 
and water luppliea — oil pipollnes. 

That failure riika an snvlronmenlal 
cataitruphe. PIpellnea routinely span iwainpt, 
lakaa, canala and itreams and run atop 
undergruund aqulfem aupplying drinking wutrr 
to milUona of people. One gallon of refined 
petroleum can pollute 1 million galloni of 
water. 

A crude oil pipeline running acroM 
Alligator Alley io Port Everglades has suffered 
81 iplllJ since 1972. The sute already hat 
hundreds of miles of pipelines, including somu 
croulng South florida'i vital water storage 
area, the Biscayne Auulfer. Pelruluuia 
coiapanies are actively pui-suiue eifoil>> U> 
build additional pipeilnos into Norlh Florida 
and then throughout the state. 

Although Broward, Palm Beach and Dade 
•couptlea have adopted tough pipelioo 
'ordinancet, Flwlaa needs its own law. 
Poitunately, it could have that law if 
lawmakers adopt a bill by Senate Natural 
Resources Committee ChalrrauD Tom 
McPherson, IM^ooper City. 
' The bin makes tnree simple, sensible and 
long-overdue changes in the law. 

■ It roqutres a pipeline company to f.et 
development ordem from lorul j'ovwnn.cni: 



priur to exercising Its power to buy private 
property for the project. 

■ It gives the atate Department of 
Environmeotal Regulation authority to regulate 
pipelines and requires it to adopt rules to 
carry out that authority by March 19Q1. The 
rules must cover design, installation, 
maintenance, inspection and handling of 
•margenciea. 

■ And it says a pipeline ovor five miles 
long that crosses a county line must comply 
with strict requirements as a development of 
regional impact. 

Tuo main reason lawmaker* should vote 
for this bill U to f ulf lU their legal obUgatlon to 
prutect public safety. Without adequate State 
rogutallon, a pipeline could in theory be 
constructed io unsafe areas or wnys that 
would allow leaks to threaten plant and animal 
life and poison drinking water supplies. 

Another reason Is to Movlde a reasonably 
level playing field for tna two competing kinds 
of companiM that transport petroleum 
products. Shipping companies must spend a lot 
of money to comply wltb strict Coast Guard 
regulatlooa. Pipeuoe (Irmt don't have to meet 
any state reguuttoos In Florida. 

The federal government has tharplv out 
back its commitment to pipeline safety; federal 
regulations are minimal, and the National 
Transportation Safety Board has only two 
plpeilni Inspectors for the entire country. 
. Florida must step in now-, it cannot afford 
to continue to duck Its responsibility to regulate 
oil pipullneii. 



135 



10A 



SARASOTA HERAI 



QidLrMxzXft^ 



\^'=\o 



A non-partisan newspaper 

Published every morning of the year at 801 South Tamiami Trail. 

Sarasota, Florida 34237 

• 
Elvan Grubbs. Publisher 
News: Editorial: 

William F. Mcllwain, Executive Editor Waldo Proff itt Jr., Editor 
Karry Slagla. Managing Editor C. Herbert Harrigan. Editorial Page Editor 



k M€W V0« TIM6S COMPANY 



Editorials 



Is a LONG Pipeline Better? 



Plans announced recently to build a 
petroleum products pipeline from the 
Port of Tampa to Fort Myers trigger 
mixed feelings in many if not most 
observers. 

While apparently not as hazardous as 
ship or truck tankers, a pipeline buried 
beneath several feet of soil prompts 
reservations precisely because leaks, 
seeps and outri^t breaks cannot be 
readily seen. 

And while we share Manatee County 
Commissioner Ed Chance's elation that 
a proposed petroleum pipeline travers- 
ing several miles of the Lake Manatee 
watershed will now be displaced, we 
note the threat of pollution, if any, has 
been extended across a broader region. 

Regardless of whether a public reser- 
voir watershed lies in its path, any such 
pipeline poses a potential risk because 
petroleum prtxlucts leaking from it 
could penetrate water table and aquifer 
formations tapped by private and public 
wells. Adulteration by petroleum prod- 
ucts of such wells would be expensive to 
remedy and difficult, if not impossible. 



to reverse. 

P|%sumably, high technology devices 
are available to detect any problems, 
and we are certain promoters of the 
pipeline - the GATX Corp. of Chicago - 
will so reassure us, but we aren't likely 
to take much comfort from guarantees 
made so far. 

A spokesman for the project, who 
stated the company had no plans to 
traverse any watersheds, obviously 
needs a lesson in Southwest Florida 
geography as we cotint no fewer than 
six mtgor watercourses - from the 
Alafia to the Caloosahatchee rivers - to 
be crossed by this conduit 

That is not to say we categorically 
oppose the construction of what could 
prove to be a safe and vital method of 
moving petroleum fuels from the port to 
various recipients - including the Tam- 
pa Electric Co. which had proposed the 
Lake Manatee watershed transection. 

But, we plan to keep a close watch on 
the progress of this project and rest 
assured others, too, will be paying at- 
tention. 



136 



Tallahassee Oemocrat/Tue.. March 20, 1990 



^^^^ laiianassee uemocrat/iue. I 

lOA Opinion 



Our 

VIEW 



The ediionals Deiow represent the 
opinion pi Ihis eOilorial board: 

Carrol Dadltman, publisher 
Bob sun. executive editor 
Bill Manslield, editonai page eonor 
Susannah Lyie, associate editor 
Jim MInter. associate editor 



Fred Moti 

general manager 



BUI Fuller 

managirtg editor 



State review 

Needed for tank farm 



The consultants hired by the Jefrer- 
son County Commission — Darabi and 
Associates Inc. — turned in their report 
two weeks ago on the proposed 6.6-mil- 
lion gallon tank farm lor Lloyd. The 
commission is scheduled to take up the 
proposal March 29. 

Considering the past performance of 
tanks farms across Florida and in other 
states, the threat of contamination to 
the Floridan Aquifer, which runs under 
the site and on into Leon and Wakulla 
counties — must be taken seriously. 

Currently the only review is what 
Jefferson County deems necessary as it 
considers a rezoning application (from 
agricultural to commercial). 

It is time — as the Tallahassee City 
and Leon County commissions have re- 
quested — for Gov. Martinez to inter- 
cede. The governor has done well fight- 
ing oil-drilling efforts in sensitive 
offshore waters. And he successfully 
pushed for ocean-going vessels near the 
Keys to further skirt the Florida coast. 
This problem closer to home needs his 
attention, too. 

Sited as it would be on a hill in Lloyd, 
the tank farm would be well positioned 
to threaten a multi-county water supply. 
Writes the consultant about the flow of 
stormwater from the 23.14 acre site: 

"It is obvious, due to Ihe natural 
slope of the property, that it currently 
drains into the low area located adja- 
cent to the southeastern corner of Ihe 
site. From here, drainage flow mean- 
.(Jers through the woods until it crosses 
under Jefferson Road, into the system of 
ditches along MO, west into Still Creek, 
and then either north into Bird Sink or 
south into tributaries that eventually 
discharge into the Si. Marks River." 

The purity of the Floridan Aquifer 
should not rest on a Jefferson County 
zoning decision — one that has been 
heavily lobbied by a billion-dollar corpo- 
ration. Clean-up ol contaminants in wa- 
ter supplies is extremely expensive All 
precautions should be taken to prevent 
that eventuality Yet the consultant 
found the proposed liner inadequate. 

"Texaco and Colonial have proposed 
utilizing high density polyethylene 
(HOPE) as the liner malenal This will 
not be acceptable in that HOPE is not 
compatible with gasoline as indicated in 
the tables shown in Appendix F. . . " 

Already the Texaco plan is chal- 
lenged by one outside engineer. What 
would a state review find? 



The purity o( Ihe Floridan 
Aquiler should not rest on a Jellerson 
County zoning decision — one thai 
has been heavily lobbied by a billion- 
dollar corporation. Clean-up of 
contaminanis in water supplies is ex- 
tremely expensive. All precautions 
should be taken to prevent thai even- 
tuality. Yet Ihe consuliant found the 
proposed liner inadequate. 



Last year local government officials 
in Leon County asked the Department 
of Community Affairs to consider the 
tank farm — and the Colonial pipeline 
that would connect it with points north 
— a Development of Regional ImpacL 
That designation would bring a broad- 
based state review. The department de- 
clined, on the grounds that theamount 
of gas to be stored at the proposed site 
would fall below the state-review 
threshold. 

But state review is needed. Other 
tanks from other companies could easi- 
ly be added atlcr rezoning — without 
any review being required. And the gas 
continuously stored in the feeding pipe- 
line would push the number of gallons 
above the state-review limiL 

Tank farms are a fact of life in our 
highly mobile society. Those served by 
pipelines, as this farm would be may 
well offer less threat to the environment 
than those served by tankers. But they 
should be situated in areas where the 
risk to the public can be minimized. 

The consultant's executive summary 
gives further reason why state review is 
necessary: 

"While detailed engineering and de- 
sign calculations and plans have not 
been prepared by Texaco, it is believed 
the site soil and hydrogeological limita- 
tions can be potentially overcome wiih 
the application of engineering 
principles. . . " 

What if they are not potentially 
overcome? 

Who will be watching that they are? 
Who will force corrective action if they 
are not? 

Because many residents outside Jef- 
ferson County could be affected by a 
series of continuous spills, or one large 
one, the watching needs to be done 
beforehand. 

Just ask the residents of Prince Wil- 
liams Sound — Alaska. 



137 



4B/Saturdav,MaY22, 1993 



Tallahassee Democrat 



NEIGHBORHOODS 



Woodgate and Lightsey are tops 
in eyes of neighborhood council 



The awards recognize 
those who act on behalf 
of neighborhoods and 
perform outstanding 
public service. 

By Gary Fineout 

DEMOCRAT STAFF WHITER 

Woodgaie, ihe large neighbor- 
hood off Thomasville Road, and 
City Commissioner Debbie Lightsey 
look lop honors in the annual 
awards banquet held this week by 
neighborhood leaders 

Bob Rackleff, a vigorous Colo- 
nial Pipeline opponent, was named 
"David Krause Neighbor of the 
Year" 

The Council of Neighborhood 
Associations (CONA), the 14-year- 
old conglomerate of more than 50 
Tallahassee neighborhoods, handed 
out five awards Thursday night. 

The awards recognize those who 
act on behalf of neighborhoods and 
perform outstanding public service. 

"Since neighborhoods are the 



most vital part of any community, 
CONA feels it's important to recog- 
nize the outstanding neighbor and 
outstanding neighborhood as it re- 
lates to decisions affecting the com- 
munity," said Bev DeMello, one of 
CONA's vice presidents. 
The award winners were: 

■ Neighborhood of the Year 
Award: Woodgate Neighborhood 
Association. 

■ Carol Bellamy Official of the 
Year Award: City Commissioner 
Debbie Lightsey The late Bellamy 
was a CONA leader and city 
commissioner. 

■ David Krause Neighbor of 
the Year Award: Bob Rackleff. Da- 
vid Krause was one of the organiz- 
ers of CONA. 

Rackleff has led the opposition 
against a plan to build a 60-mile 
petroleum pipeline from Bain- 
bridge, Ga., 10 Lloyd in Jefferson 
County, a project that opponents 
say will threaten the Floridan Aqui- 
fer, the area's major source of 
drinking water 

■ Youth Recognition Award: 



Students Against Violent Environ- 
ments (Godby High School), 

■ Citizen's Service Award: Del- 
ta Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha 
Kappa Alpha sorority 

CONA board of directors mem- 
ber Wally Senter said Woodgaie 
took top honors this year for lis 
long-standing habit of doing neigh- 
borhood projects, including bicycle 
rallies and beaulificaiion efforts, as 
well as being well-organized. 

Lightsey, CONA officials said, 
was tapped as the top elected offi- 
cial for her support of the Compre- 
hensive Plan and her defense of 
neighborhoods 

"As I told CONA, accolades are 
few and far l)etween in this busi- 
ness, and when one comes from u 
group like this it is even dearer. ' 
Lightsey said Friday 

Godby High's SAVE group was 
recognized for its campaign to siup 
school violence. 

The sorority group was awarded 
for its community involvemenl on a 
reading and mathematics enrich 
mem program 



138 




139 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



Bob Rackleff used to write speeches for Presi- 
dent Jimmy Carter. Today he finds leaks in 
pipelines and probably knows moreabout die 
petroleum pipeline business than many in- 
dustrial experts. 

Rackleff came to this avocation not in pur- 
suit of a second career as a petroleum en- 
gineer, but rather as an ordinary citizen. In 
1988, he and his family retired from the 
Washington D.C. fast-track and moved to 
what they thought would be a more comfort- 
able existence in the rural community of 
Lloyd, Florida. 

Not longafter they arrived, however, Rack- 
leff and his wife JoEllyn learned that a 
petroleum pipeline and a 6.5 million gallon 
gasoline tank farm were coming to their 
neighborhood. 

Texaco, Amoco, Qtgo, and the Colonial 
Pipeline Company, which the oil companies 
own in part, planned to extend an existing 
pipeline from Georgia into Lloyd, where it 
would connect to the proposed gasoline tank 
farm. Marketing officials, with an eye on 
boonung Horida growth and the growing 
gasoline market of Tallahassee, less ttian 20 
miles away, thought the location was ideal for 
a terminal.'' 

But Bob Rackleff and his neighbors had 
another view. They started asking questions, 
digging up statistics, and filing lawsuits. 
Rackleff soon became a leader in raising ques- 
tions about the proposal. What he learned 
about petroleum pipelines in the United 
States of America astounded him. 

He discovered, among other things, that 

■ neither the federal government nor most 
state governments have accurate maps of 
where pipelines are located; 

■ 41 states do not regulate pollution from 
pipelines; , 

■ there are no federal requirements for oil 
companies to monitor pipelines; 



■ the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) in the 
U.S. Department ofTranspprtation (DOT), 
an agency charged with regulating some 
aspects of pipeline sjifety, had too few in- 
spectors to cover the nation's pipeline sys- 
tem — for example, 4 federail inspectors 
cover all the interstate pipelines in 13 Mid- 
western states; 

■ there can be wide discrepancies in the 
number of pipeline spills reported at the 
federal level and those reported at the state 
level; 

■ from 1987 through 1989 — when pipeline 
companies spilled almost 33 million gal- 
lons in 580 separate instances — OPS fined 
the companies a total of $188,000; and 

■ the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) has no role in regulating or prevent- 
ing pollution from pipelines, but can be 
called in to clean up spills.* 

There are more than 200,000 miles of inter- 
state and intrastate petroleum pipelines in the 
United States. They are found in all 50 states, 
and they carry every conceivable oil product, 
from crude oil to gasoline to jet fuel. The 
pipelines range in size from several inches to 
more than four feet in diameter. 

Most were built between 1947 and the mid- 
1960s — laid segment by segment and joined 
seam by seam into one of the largest transpor- 
tation systems ever built. The system is under- 
ground for the most part. So when something 
goes wrong, most people never see or hear 
about it. 

But something has gone wrong, and even 
the people that should know don't really have 
a handle on it. 

A Miinoa Gallons A Month 

America's petroleum pipelines are leaking 
— leaking badly. Friends of the Earth es- 
timates that petroleum pipelines leak at least 
12 million gallons a year. But that's a conser- 



"Pelroleum 
pipetmes have 
operated for 
decades fooling 
people that 'out 
of sight, out of 
mind' means a 
good pollution 
record." 

— HoTOlurai.riiJMfc 
rwBl, Port Angelc, Woshnglw" 



Frienik of iIm Earlli 



CIUDE AWAKENING 79 



140 



TABLE 6-1 

U.S. INTERSTATE & INTRASTATE 

PETROLEUM PIPEUNES 



Cnide Oil Trunk Lines 
Gathering Lines 
Produd Lines 



TOTAL 



A CRACK IN 

vative estimate, for several reasons: 

■ First, as of 1985, spills of 2,100 gallons or 
less do not have to be reported. 

■ Second, some pipelines — such as low- 
pressure gathering lines, which account 
for 15 percent of all petroleum pipelines — 
have been exempt 
from federal leak- 
reporting require- 
ments. 

■ Third, according to 
U.S. General Ac- 
counting Office 
(GAO), most com- 
panies do not com- 
ply with the 
reporting require- 
ments that do exist. 

■ Fourth, no single federal agency has an 
accurate list of the number, age, and loca- 
tion of all the nation's pipelines. 

One study of pipeline leakage, based on 
leaks reported to the DOT's Office of Pipeline 
Safety, indicates that more than 256 million 
gallons of peti-oluem leaked from pipelines 
between 1970 and 1990 — an average of 12.2 
million gallons per year. But Bob Rackleff and 
other observers believe that, because of un- 
detected leaks and unreported spills, total 
pipeliiw leakage may be as high as 20 to 30 
million gallorts per year. 

PipeGne Pollutioi 

Pipeline leakage — like storage tank 
leakage (see Chapter 3> — can cause environ- 
mental harm, such as polluted drinking 
water. 

According to DOT, almost all petroleum 
pipelines travel through or near bodies of 
water.' Yet, as the GAO discovered in its 1991 
investigation, "there is no federal program 
with the goal of preventing water pollution 
from pipelines." 

Although DOT is resporwible for prevent- 
ing water |X)llution from petroleum pipelines 
under the Clean Water Act, "it has not estab- 
lished a program to prevent water pollution 
caused by pipeline spills," according to GAO. 

In fact, until 1992, DOT's Office of Pipeline 
Safety allowed low-pressure petroleum 
pipelines to be completely exempt from 
reiigulation, regardless of their potential for 
causing water pollution. Nor did OPS require 



■ 65,500, 
56,000 
91,000 



212,000 



THE PIPE 

that nearby waterways be considered in the 
routing and building of new pipelines. 

It's no wonder then that pipelines have 
been polluting the nation's water resources on 
a regular basis. 

"Pipelines have experienced, on average, 
more than one water- 
polluting spill per day 
between 1980 and 
1989," reported GAO. 
"These spills range in 
size from less than 1 
gallon to 35 million gal- 
lons, averaging 5,000 
gallons each..." 

Now, under new 
regulations mandated 
by the Pipeline Safety 
Act of 1992, OPS in consultation with EPA 
must issue regulations to define environmen- 
tally ser\siuve areas and identify all pipelines 
that cross navigable waterways. The regula- 
tions, however, are not expected to be final 
until November 1994. 

Who's Responsible? 

Most of the pipelines that operate in the 
U.S. today are owned and operated by the 
major oil companies — either through their 
subsidiaries or ttirough joint ventures. Oil- 
company owned pipelines account for one- 
third of all oil transported in pipelines, while 
joint ventures account for 45 percent." Oil 
companies, in other words, have at least some 
equity in about 80 percent of the petroleum 
pipeline network. 

Table 6-4 and Appendix X illustrate that 
these oil<ompany controlled pipeline com- 
panies have been responsible for numerous 
spills and leaks. 

But oil companies often give pipeline com- 
panies full title to the oil while in transport, a 
practice which can relieve the oil company of 
legal responsibility should a spill occur. In 
Florida, for example, Exxon uses the Sun- 
niland Pipeline Company of Fort Lauderdale 
to move oil across the Everglades. Exxon 
claims it isn't responsible for what happens to 
tine oil in Surmiland's pipeline.'* So Exxon 
bore no responsibility when Sunniland 
spilled 21,000 gallons of crude oil in March 
1989 in south Florida. 



BOaUDEAWMCENIHG 



FriMdiodlMEHlli 



141 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



Oil Company Record 

Government records indicate that many 
pipeline leaks could have been prevented. 

"The spills could have been prevented, 
either by management or by the persons that 
caused the spills," vi'rote Langley Adair, a 
Florida Department of Environmental 
Resources (DER) official, after an unsuc- 
cessfull attempt to fine Sunniland $15,000 for 
a series of oil spills that occurred between 
November 1983 and February 1985.'^ 

A review pipeline-related court action sug- 
gests that Adair's sentiments are shared by 
govemment officials across the nation: 

New York — In February 1990, New York 
City took Exxon to court, charging that the 
company had submitted false pipeline safety 
reports since 1984, a practice that contributed 
to a January 1, 1990 spill of 567,000 gallons of 
heating oil into the Arthur Kill waterway.^ 

Prior to the lawsuit, Exxon publicly ad- 
mitted that its leak detection system had not 
worked properly for 12 years, and that it fre- 
quently gave false signals. It was corrunon 
practice to ignore leak signals and override a 
system that automatically shut down the 
pipeline when a leak was detected. 

That became a fateful practice on the eve- 
ning of January 1, 1990, when workers twice 
overrode a leak signal they thought was false. 
The mistake allowed oil from a broken under- 
water pipeline to flow into the Arthur Kill for 
five hours." 

In March 1991, Exxon settled out of court 
with the city, agreeing to spend $10 to $15 
million on environmental improvements to 
avoid litigation. Some of this money was used 
to buy wildlife habitat and undertake ecologi- 
cal studies. Exxon never formally faced tifie 
fraud charges.^ 

Alaska — The state fined ARCO $200,000 
after it under-reported the size of an August 
1989 pipeline spill in its Kuparuk field. An 
estimated 312 to 603 barrels spilled onto the 
tundra when a valve failed. ARCO initially 
reported a spill of only one barrel. Two weeks 
later it raised the estimate to the full amount 

ARCO says it did not intentionally under- 
reptort the size of the spill. Nevertheless, the 
state ordered ARCO to improve its spill 
reporting procedures, clean up the site, and 
accelerate pipdine maintenance. In Septem- 
ber 1991, the site was still being cleaned up.^' 



Washington — 

The state fined U.S. 
Oil & Refining Co. 
$45,000 for a 600,000 
gallon spill from a 
broken 16-inch un- 
derground pipeline. 
The January 1991 
break apparently 
resulted from heavy 
equipment operating 
over the pipeline. U.S. 
Oil was found 
negligent for not ade- 
quately protecting 
and marking the 
pipeline right-of- 
way. 

"Only one foot of 
soil covered the 
pipeline where the 
rupture occurred and 
there were no warn- 
ing signs over any 
portion of the 5,000- 
foot pipeline," noted 
the state Department 
of Ecology.*' 

Montana — In 
April 1992, a pipeline 
gasket failed at the 
Yellowstone Pipeline 
temunal in Missoula, 
Montana, allowing 
5,000 gallons of gasoline to spray from the 
pipe. It was the fifth spill at the terminal — run 
by Conoco, Du Font's energy unit — since 
November 1990." City health officials, con- 
cerned that the spills might pollute the city's 
drinking water, ordered ConocO to protect the 
Missoula aquifer below the site. 

"We are, as a community, just coming to 
terms with the fact that we live above our 
drinking water," said Ellen Leahy, director of 
the Missoula City County Health Department 
in issu ing the order. "The protective measures 
you've taken to date don't measure up to what 
is required. "*' 

Conoco had no alarm system at the ter- 
minal, and nearly all of the leaks had been 
reported by passers-by. An investigation of 
the 1992 spill also revealed that the temninal 
lacked an automatic shut-off system; it took a 



TABLE 6-2 


REPORTED PIPELINE SPILLS 


YEAR 


GALLONS 


1970 


22,097,418 


1971 


9.805,362 


1972 


14,462.700 


1973 


15.727,404 


1974 


12.127.962 


1975 


13.312.614 


1976 


10.060.722 


1977 


9.403.338 


1978 


11.779,530 


1979 


22,900,248 


1980 


12,005^38 


1981 


8,588,622 


1982 


9,214,926 


1983 


16,020.942 


1984 


12,008,010 


1985 


7,065,702 • 


1966 


11,756,850 


1987 


15,341,634 


1968 


9,089,640 


1989 


8,452,076 


1990 


5,206,656 


TOTAL 


256,427,594 


Average 


12,210,838 


Sourw; Annul Report ol PIpsBw Safety (t97B.199<l), Ollics ol 
Pipeline Salely. U S OepailinenI ol Transponallon (■) Pf>eline 
spills from 19es lo preseni reported If ffiey exceed 2.100 gellons. 
prior 10 198S all spills lai^r tfian 210 gallons were si^posed lo oe 
reporfed 



Frieads of th« brlh 



CRUDE AWAKENING 81 



142 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



TABLE 6-4 
Ttie Top 30 Pipeline Spills, 1 985-1993 



COMPANY 

Lakehead Pipeine 

Amoco 

Texaco 

ShellTexaco 

Shell 

US Oil 

Exxon 

Colonial Pipeine 

Exxon 

Coastal Derby 

Marathon P|)eine 

GATX 

Texaco 

Colonial Pipeline 

Amoco 

Shell 

Amoco 

Chevron 

Amoco Pipeline 

Pelrofna 

Williams Pipeine 

FinaOil 

Platte Ppeine 



Scf Pefmian(Anioco) 5 Feb 92 



Texaco 

Conoco 

Sun 

Amoco Oil Co. 

Mobil 

BP 



LOCATION GALLONS PRODUCT 

Grand Rapids. MN 1.700,000 cnide 

Denver City. TX 1.450.000 ctvjde 

Winkler Co .TX 900.000 cnjde 

Vienna. MO 840.000 erode 

Roxana. 1 672.000 cnjde 

Tacoma. WA 600.000 cnjde 

Arthur Kii. NY 567.000 12 healng oil 

Greenville. SO 546.000 tuel oil 

13Jan89 Eugene Island. LA 588,000 crude 

25 Dec 90 SedgwckCo.KS 447,720 naphtha 

Newton. IL 452.550 cnxJe 

Carteret. NJ 420.000 jet tuel 

San Joaquin Valley. CA 420,000 cnjde 

Fairfax Co.. VA 400.000 dieseloil 

Alberta. Canada 360.000 It crude 

28 Nov 92 McCameyASouslon. TX 357.000 oil 4 water 

6 Nov 90 Salisbury. MO 300.000 cnjde 

Beaumont, TX 231.000 cnjde 

Bowring, OK 210,000 cnjde 

Crane Co., TX 207.300 cnjde 

Renner. SO 200.000 gas & diesel 

Port Arthur. TX 189.000 cmde 

Salisbury, MO 172.000 cnjde 

Johnson Co. WY 168.000 cnjde 

Augusta, KS 160.000 It crude 

Judith Basin. MT 160.000 «. crude 

Lfcerty.TX 147.000 cnjde 

DetlaCo.Ml 126.000 I2tuel 

Gorman. TX 1 10.000-210.000 cnjde 

Oregon. OH 105.000 decanted hjel" 



DATE 
3M»91 
29Jun91 
23 Jan 89 
Dec 88 
19Feb90 
6Jan91 
2Jan90 
19 Dec 91 



27 Apr 85 
3 Aug 90 
26 Mar 89 
29 Mar 93 
5Jun90 



20 Dec 89 
17Jan92 
220CI89 
13Jan92 
22 Sep 91 
9Jan92 



8 Jan 91 
14 Sept 89 
11Jun89 
16Mar92 
26 Apr 90 
29 Nov 90 



DAMAGE /POLLUTION/OTHER 

Prairie River & wetlands^' 

ground spdl^ 

spilled on ranc^land 

Shoal Creek, Gasconade, Miss & Mo Rivers^ 

refinery spiir 

Blair Waterway (Puget Sound) & soiP' 

polkitkin o( Arthur Kill:400 dead binls^ 

poUutiop ct Durbin Crk & Enoree River*^ 

corrosion, most rvcoverea 

ground spill 

pipe njpture: pollulion of Newton Lake^^ 

contained: 300 yards from Arthur Kiln 

line rupture: into d^ bed of Salt Creek^ 

Sugarland Crk& Potomac River 

seam failure, most cleaned up 

line njpture 

pipe njpture: wat pollutk>n & fish kill' 

polkjtion of Hiklebrandt Bayou" 

corrosion. 175.000 prop, damage 

ground spilr 

leaked onto familand*' 

ground sptlf" 

seam failure: farmland spill 

ground spill 

some oil in kical creek 

land spii: half recovered*' 

pollution o( Trinity R.*' 

ground spiff" 

poUulkw of Sabana River 6.000 fish dead 



Soufca Frnnds ol the Earth. WuMnglon. D C CompiM Irom piDlishei) sources and r 
m piptliiw spins, bf daU. location ami amounl g>Hle(l 



s sources See also Appenda includes an addnnnal company^)y-companv listing 



worker 20 minutes to manually crank a valve 
120 times to close the pipeline. An automatic 
system would have taken two minutes. 

Conoco says it will install motorized block 
valves at points leading into and out of the 
Missoula terminal. The new valves will be 
controlled by pipeline managers in Houston, 
who oversee the operations of the entire line, 
which runs from Billings, Montana to Moses 
Lake, Washington. 

New Mexico — Twenty-five miles 
northwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in 
country known mostly for its rattlesnakes and 
desert, the Marathon Oil company has 
operated the Indian Basin gas processing 
plant since 1966. The plant, which produces 
petroleum condensate, has four incoming 
gathering lines. 



Through 1989 and most of 1990, produc- 
tion at the plant was about 1 1,000 barrels per 
day. Then, in November 1990, production 
suddenly dropped to 4,600 barrels. Some- 
thing was wrong." 

Four months later, on April 12, 1991, 
workers found the problem. They discovered 
a colorless, salty mixture of oil and water 
bubbling out of Gathering Line #4 about 800 
feet south of the plant. According to 
Marathon, corrosion caused the line to break. 

Company officials estimated that the break 
had occurred the previous fall and calculated 
losses of 1.5 million gallons of oil and 840,000 
gallons of produced water. It was the largest 
leak ever recorded in New Mexico. 

At the state's request, Marathon dug 
monitoring wells that revealed as much as a 



82aUDEAWAKENIIIG 



Frientis of flw Eorlli 



143 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



foot of oil floating on groundwater. The 
plume was moving at the rate of six inches to 
a foot each day, and by August 1991 had 
moved about a mile east of the pipeline break. 

New Mexico officials believe it will be 
some bme before the plume threatens drink- 
ing water supplies — the nearest wells are 
about three rtules away — but they don't 
know if heavy rains will speed the plume's 
movement. 

Chris Shuey, Director of the Community 
Water Qualify Program at the Southwest Re- 
search and Information Center in Albuquer- 
que, believes Marathon was negligent in 
dealing with the leak. He maintains that the 
company could have prevented the leak with 
better pipeline installation and monitoring 
practices. For example, he says the gathering 
lines should have been equipped with flow 
meters, which would allow workers to detect 
and address any loss in volume quickly. The 
pipelines should have also included a cor- 
rosion prevention systems. 

Shuey believes the state should have 
sought fines and penalties in the incident. 



given the magnitude of the leak and the 
toxicity of the pollutants. "These leaked fluids 
Ccin be acutely and chronically toxic to both 
humans and animals," he said. "The damage 
that these long-term discharges may bring to 
the regional ground water system may not be 
knovknn for years."** 

Kansas — Mary and Ray Simmons of 
Wichita, Kansas were just about to break 
ground for a new home when they learned of 
the contamination. The groundwater beneath 
their land — their sole source of drinking 
water — contained 17,000 parts per billion 
benzene, a chemical which can cause cancer. 
Where did the benzene come from? The Sim- 
mons believe it came from a nearby Conoco 
pipeline. In February 1990, a weld gave way, 
allowing 42,000 gallons of jet fuel to spill from 
the pipeline. Unaware of the spill, the Sim- 
mons purchased their property a year later. 
Today, their construction plans are on hold 
and they are in court seeking relief from Con- 
oco." 

Conoco pipelines, which are also impli- 
cated in spills in Valley Center and east of 



TEXACO SPILL ON TEXAS RANCH 

Rex Pigmon had seen oil spills on his West Texas ranch before. Bui the one on January 
24, 1989, was different. The 62-year old Winkler County cattleman sat in his pickup for a 
long minute, watching the stream of smelly crude flow across his land toward the road. 
He thought about getting out for a closer look, but the danger of poisonous gases and 
explosion made him stay put... 

...Within a few hours, three bulldozers, a herd of trucks, and two dozen men were at the 
site, scrambling to contain the thousands of gallons of crude draining out of, the 20-inch 
diameter Texaco pipeline. The bulldozers built levees to contain the gushing oil. As the 
dozers worked to wall in the spill, two vacuum trucks sucked up the heavy-smelling crude. 
As soon as one truck was full, it turned around and headed for the row of huge gray oil 
tanks at the pump station. But there just weren't enough trucks to keep up with the rising 
oil. Soon the levees gave way and the sulfurous oil crept over the arid terrain. Before the 
oil stopped flowing, six acres of Pigmon's land — an are the size of four and a half football 
fields — was covered with oil. 

Twenty-four hours after Pigmon found the leak, the pipeline was still draining. The 
welders and pipe fitters waited and watched as the oil occupying the twenty miles worth 
of pipe oozed out onto Pigmon's property. Finally, around noon, the damaged pipe was 
empty. Backhoes dug out the buried pipe, and the ruptured section was cut out. Seventy- 
four feet of new pipe were laid in place, and by six o'clock that evening, the welders were 
gone. The dozers leveled the dikes. The oil that couldn't be vacuumed up was covered 
over with dirt. That done, the remaining crew loaded the equipment and drove away — 
leaving a chunk of Pigmon's land oil-soaked and sterile. ...When [Pigmon) learned two 
pionlhs later that nearly one million gallons of crude had leaked onto his land and was 
beginning to contaminate his groundwater, he got mad. And when Texaco offered him 
Sl,2000 for damages, he got a lawyer... 

(Excerpted from Rol}en Bryce. 'More Precious Than Oil,' Texas Uonthfy. ftbiMrf 1991 ) 



Frienik oi tli« brtli 



CIUDE AWAKENING 83 



144 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



WYOMING SPILL WIPES OUT TROUT; TAINTS WATER 

It was April 1987. N4ike Sullivan, then governor of Wyoming, was surveying the damage to the North Platte 
River from a circling helicopter. A Conoco pipeline near Casper had ruptured, spilling gasoline into the river. 
Dead fish were washing up on river banks — some were calling it the worst disaster in Wyoming history for a 
prime trout fishery. ., , u j u 

Bill Wichers, a Wyoming fisheries supervisor, reported that about 1,250 trout per mile of stream had been 
killed, about 14,000 fish in total. More fish were expected to succumb to the spill. Wichers estimated it would take 
three to four years for the fishery to recover. 

Joe White, chief of fisheries for Wyoming Game and Fish, was optimistic about the long term. He said the spill 
would not have a long-lasting environmental impact on the river. The spring runoff from upstream reservoirs 
would flush the river of fuel, he said. 

Conoco promised to restock the river. But dead trout weren't the only problem. Near Casper, residents were 
told not to drink or cook with their tap water. At one water treatment location, officials repomd contamination 
levels of .9 ppm gasoline at the top of a water storage tank and .14 ppm at a treatment plant. 

"The purpose of the ban is to make sure that someone is not going to drink gasoline or any water with gas in 
it," explained Dan Coughlin, Manager of the Brooks Water and Sewer District. 

At the time, however, Wyoming's DEQ did not plan any enforcement action against Conoco. 



Wichita, aren't the only ones leaking in Kan- 
sas. Coastal, for instance, has a number of 
leaking pipelines in the state. In Conway 
Springs, residents discovered oil pollution 
beneath their land and new homes, the result 
of a leak in the Coastal Derby Pipeline, a crude 
oil gathering line that is exempt from federal 
regulation. Another Coastal pipeline leaked 
refined petroleum at Park City. 

A Coastal line near Kechi spilled naphtha 
in December 1989. The naptha line leaked 
again on Christmas Eve, 1990 rwar Benton, 
spilling 420,000 gallons and forcing four 
families to leave their homes." According to 
John Stoner, spokesman for DOT's regional 
pipelir\e safety office, the agency didn't even 
know the Coastal naptha pipeline existed 
until the second incident was reported. Coas- 
tal now has a computerized leak monitoring 
system on the line. 

Other Kansas pipeline leakers include: 
Kaneb Pipeline (spilled gasoline at Arkansas 
City and Augusta); Amoco (spilled crude near 
Valley Center); Koch (leaked gasoline at 
Maize); and Phillips (nught have a gasoline 
leak from a pipeline near its Wichita ter- 
minal). 

"From our standpoint, [the pipelines] are 
urvegulated, " says Kyle Parker, a geologist 
with the Kansas Department of Health and 
Envirorunent. "That is the biggest problem. 
As far as preventive regulations, our depart- 
ment has none. As far as specific cleanup regs, 
our department has none. It is pretty difficult 
to deal with.' 



Mobd's 'Chronk Leaker" 

Mobil called the 28,980galloncrudeoil leak 
from its pipeline into Bull Creek at Granada 
Hills, California "an isolated incident." That's 
the term company officials used in an April 
1986 a letter to the state Fire Marshall's office. 

But the leaks continued over the next few 
years. The line, which carried heavy "tarry" 
crude oil from Mobil's oil fields in Kem Coun- 
ty to its refinery at Torrance, had seven leaks 
greater than 2,100 gallons between 1985 and 
1991. This is an accident rate about 10 times 
higher than that for similar crude pipelines. 

The leaks — of crude heated to 180 degrees 
to keep it flowing — included: 

■ 2,520 gallons in Van Nuys, November 
1985; 

■ 28,980 gallons in Granada Hills, April 
1986; 

■ 6300 gallons in Torrance, June 1986; 

■ 105,000 gallons in Ubec, June 1987; 

■ 132,000gallonsinEncino,Septemberl988; 

■ 120,000 gallor« of oil & water in Sherman 
Oaks, September 1988; 

■ 1,040 gallons in Valencia, May 1990; and 

■ 74,634 gallons again near Valencia in 
January 1991 (some of the oil made its way 
to the Santa Clara River)." 

"The line's a chronic leaker," said Jim Waif, 
chief of the Los Angeles Fire Marshal's 
pipeline safety division. And Ken Cude, 
division engineer for the L.A. Department of 
Transportation, cited the line's "inordinate" 
number of spills." 

What was causing the problem? 



84 aUDE AWAKENING 



Friends ol tkt brth 



145 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



Some theorized it was age — parts of the 
Mobil pipeline were 50 years old. But many of 
the leaks occurred in portions of the line that 
were less than 20 years old, so age wasn't the 
only factor. 

"There's something else that's going on, no 
question about it..." said Richard Beam, 
deputy associate administrator of DOT's Of- 
fice of Pipeline Safety. "It's a question of how 
the line was designed, constructed, and what 
its maintenance record is." 

And, Beam could have added, it also may 
be a queshon of what kind of protective coat- 
ings Mobil was putting on the inside of its 
pipelines to prevent corrosion. 

Mobil's April 1986 "isolated" leak, for ex- 
ample, was blamed on an ineffective coating 
called "T-1," which had been installed in 1964. 
After the spill, Mobil told the Fire Marshall's 
office that it was replacing line segments that 
were coated with T-1 . 

The incident illustrates that the science of 
pipeline coatings isn't as far along as some 
might expect. James Nunn, corrosion 
manager for Mobil's pipeline subsidiary, 
wrote about the uncertain business coatings 
in the May 1987 Oil & Gas journal. 

Nunn wrote that Mobil expected each new 
coating it tried "to be superior to its predeces- 
sor." But some coatings — including several 
designed to prevent corrosion at high 



temperatures — "failed to reach full expecta- 
tions."'^ 

Nonetheless, Mobil keeps experimenting 
with its new coatings — and public safety — 
in the field. Recently, for example, it intro- 
duced a new, "state-of-the-art" coating 
developed by Du Pont Canada and Valspar 
Inc. But even this state-of-the-art coating car- 
ries no assurances. "We do not know, it is true, 
that in 50 years (it) will not spring any leaks," 
says Valspar technical consultjmt Toni Pfaff. 
"But the new hybrid coating is the very best 
that the industry has been able to come up 
with." 

Mobil Pays The Piper 

The prorruse of better pipeline coatings in 
the future, however, was not enough to 
prevent the Los Angeles officials from filing 
twelve misdemeanor criminal charges against 
Mobil for negligent upkeep of its pipelines 
after the company's September 1988 spills." 

"We believe the evidence shows that the 
rupture cind spill could have been avoided if 
Mobil had detected the corrosion problem 
through proper monitoring of the pipeline," 
said Los Angeles City Attorney Jim Hahn. 

After the second Mobil spill, oil had bub- 
bled out of the ground and flowed into storm 
drains that dump into the Los Angeles River. 
Oil also went into the city sewer system, and 



PIPELINES LEAK OFFSHORE, TOO 

Offshore oil development has been booming around the globe in recent years and 
so has the construction of offshore pipelines, which connect drilling platforms to 
onshore facilities. This underwater pipeline network is vast. Exxon alone, for example, 
has 3,000 miles of offshore oil and gas pipelines worldwide. 

The offshore pipeline system is even more dimly understood than the onshore 
system. But it too is leaking. 

In the Gulf of Mexico, for example, 690 offshore pipeline failures were reported to 
the U.S. Minerals Management Service between 1967 and 1987. Of these, 290 resulted 
in "measurable pollution," summarized in the October 1990 Oi7 & Cas journal as 
follows." 

■ 274 spills — less than 4,200 gallons 

■ 9 spills — between 4,200 and 42,000 gallons. 

■ 5 spills — between 42,000 and 420,000 gallons. 

■ 2 spills — more than 420,000 gallons. 

Gulf of Mexico pipeline failures appear to be increasing. Between 1967 and 1977, 
companies reported more than 40 pipeline failures in only one year. But between 1978 
and 1987, there were five years in which companies reported 50 or more spills. 

"The significant increase in failures since 1975," Oi7 & Cas journal concluded, "can 
be attribuied to the increase in the pipeline population, aging of the pipelines installed 
earlier, and the increased offshore construction activity."' 



Friendi si iIm brtk 



CRUDE AWAKENING 85 



146 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



vacuum trucks had to pump more dian 60,000 
gallons out of collection tanks at the Hyperion 
sewage treatmait facility. 

The maximum punishment could have 
been six months in jaiL Mobil received a better 
deal, however. Fearing additional lawsuits, 
6\e company "pled to the most anomalous" 
counts, according to city attorney Virus Sato. 
In an off-the-record agreement, Mobil paid a 
$2,000 fine plus emergency response and 
clean-up costs of about $100,000. 

But that wasn't the end of Mobil's travail. 



The Los Angeles District Attorney for the 
State of California filed a felony complaint 
against the company for fouling the Santa 
Clarita River and violating the state's hazard- 
ous waste disposal law. That case is still 
pending. 

SpiBs Expedite New Line 

Mobil did not go away empty-handed 
from its Los Angeles ordeal. In fact, the spills 
along the Kem County-to-Torrance line — 
especially those occurringafter 1988 — actual- 



Table 6-3 
Oil Company Pipelines 



Ainou 

Operates a 17,193-mile pipeline system in North America, including 2,781 miles of 
gathering lines & 14,412 miles of trunk lines. Shipped 373 million bbls of crude oil & 366 
million bbls of refined product & feedstock in 1991; holds minority interests in 10 other 
lines, including: 14.3 percent in Colonial Pipeline and 10.5 percent in Endicott Pipeline, 
which feeds into the Trans Alaska Pipeline. 

Askload 

Capline System (LA), Rancho Pipe Line System (TX), Tecumesh Pipe Line Co. (IN & 
OH), Minnesota Pipeline Co. (MN) 

Mobil 

Owns or partly owns 18,479 miles of crude oil natural gas hquids, natural gas, and 
carbon dioxide trunk & gathering Unes, and 8,071 miles of product lines; owns Mobil 
Alaska Pipeline Co., Mobil Pipe Line Co., and holds a 9.085 percent interest in the Trans 
Alaskan Pipeline System (U5.)." 

Occidmkil 

Owns MidCon Corp., a pipeline transportation subsidiary & the Natural Gas Pipeline 
Co. of America. 

ShelKUi.) 

Owns or partly owns more than 17,800 miles of petroleum pipelines in U.S.; owns Shell 
Pipe Line Corporation. 

Sun 

Owns & operates crude oil gathering lines & crude oil and petroleum product pipelines 
in 9 states; holds equity interests in other crude oil and refined product pipelines, including 
the Mid-Valley, West Texas-Gulf, Explorer, and Inland systems. 

Texoco 

Owns or has interests in some 30,000 miles of pipelines worldwide; owns Texaco 
Pipeline, Inc. 

Unocal 

Owns, partly owns, or leases 9,500 miles of raw material pipelines; holds 20.75 percent 
interest in Colonial Pipeline Co; holds 1.36 percent interest in Trans-Alaskan Pipeline 
System; the Unocal Califorma Pipeline Co. owns & operates crude oil gathering lines & 
trunk lines in California. 



86 nUDE AWAKENING 



Friends of lix Earth 



147 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



ly worked to Mobil's advantage, because they 
helped the company secure approval for 
building a new replacement line. Mobil an- 
nounced plans for the new line in August 
1989." 

In April 1991, Los Angeles Transportation 
Commission member Marion C. Fay cast her 
vote in favor of the new line, saying "The 
current pipeline is dangerous to the point of 
certain rupture." 

Some observers, however, say the safety 
issue was simply part of Mobil's strategy for 
getting permission to bring more crude into 
the region for refirung, which would mean 
more air pollution in the already smog- 
choked L.A. area. Others also saw the new 
pipe's increased capacity — up to 126,000 bar- 
rels per day, or twice that of the existing line 
— as a back door route to an additional 
pipeline in the region. 

To address these concerns, Mobil was 
restricted to 75 percent of the pipe's design 
capacity, or 95,000 barrels a day. That was still 
about one-third more oil than the old line 
carried. But Mobil said its refining level 
would remain the same, since it would be 
cutting back on deliveries from other sources. 

The new line — now being built over the 
objections of some citizen groups — will be 
much improved, according to Mobil. It will 
include the latest state-of-the-art coating and 
have a uniform 16-inch diameter — unlike the 
existing line. This will allow the company to 



use a "smart pig" — a robot that crawls along 
the line — to scan periodically for corrosion. 

WiDlams: A Careless PipeBie Company 

In January 1992, a visitor noticed dis- 
colored soil on Vernon Berg's farm near Ren- 
ner. South Dakota. The dark stain signaled a 
larger problem below the surface — a pipeline 
leak of more than 200,000 gallons of gasoline, 
diesel and jet fuel. A hairline crack in the 
pipeline, owned by the Williams Pipeline 
Company, had allowed the fuels to seep out." 

This was not the first time that Williams' 
pipelines were found leaking. Indeed, 
throughout the company's 10-state operating 
region, pipeline leaks and explosions had oc- 
curred on numerous occasions: 

■ In Mounds View, Minnesota in July 1986, 
a Williams gasoline pipeline exploded into 
a raging fireball, shooting flames 50-feet 
into the air, killing a mother and daughter 
running from their home." 

■ In Iowa, explosions in Milford and 
Pleasant Hill in 1986 killed four Williams 
workers. 

■ In Kansas, Williams' pipelines spilled 
192,000 of crude oil in 1979." 

Williams' pipelines, in fact, have been spill- 
ing oil for nearly 30 years (see Table 6-5). Be- 
tween 1982 and 1992, company liiwsk^t more 
than two million gallons of petroleum 
products and fertilizers." 

Investigations following the 1986 Mounds 



FARMER RECALLS COMPANY ARROGANCE IN SPILL OF '47 

"...The pipeline spill near Corson is similar to one that occurred on our farm ...in April 
7947. No official gallonage was given because at that time there was no legal recourse for 
something like this. 

"1 discovered this spill when I found four or five inches of diesel fuel on top of the water in 
a pasture creek, eighty rods from the spill. The company (not Williams) said they were short 
50 to 100 barrels of fuel, but they didn't know if this was the only leak. The only clean up at 
that time was to set fire to the fuel on the surface and bum it off. 

"The only means of communication between the repair crew and the company office was 
the phone at our house. When the office called the crew, they asked my wife (eight months 
pregnant) to walk sixty rods out to the crew and have them come to the house for the call. This 
was almost a daily occurrence, sometimes more than one a day. Even after the baby was bom, 
the calls kept coming until the work was completed in September. 

"I asked the company official what we could expect for my wife's cooperations and damage 
to the land. 

"He replied, 'If you want anything, you can take it to court. That's what we keep our 
lawyers for." We never received one cent or even a letter of thanks from the company. 

"This spill turned up in our 600-foot Dakota Sandstone well about 10 years later..." — 
Kerwin Ulrickson, Canton, S.D. 



Frjends of th* brth 



CRUDE AWAKENING 87 



148 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



View explosion found that Williams had in- 
adequately maintained and protected the 
pipeline against corrosion. The company, 
which knew that the pipe was inadequately 
protected for five years before tfw accident, 
was fined $115,000 by DOT's Office of 
Pipeline Safety, the largest fine ever collected 
by the agency at the time. 

The Mounds View incident also touched 
off a Minnesota probe into Williams' record, 
which turned up 64 spills in the state between 
1967 and 1986. Thirty-one spills were caused 
by corroded equipment. Minnesota levied 
some $190,000 in fuws on the company for 
spills during that period. 

In South Dakota, politidarw and the public 
are still seething over a 1987 spate of Williams 
pipeline and tank farm spills in Sioux Falls 
and Watertown (see Chapter 3). "Williams Pipe 
Line Co. reminds us of a politician with good 
instincts and no conscience," said the editors 
of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in a February 
1992 editorial. "Company officials talk with 
great sorrow and concern every time one of 
their aging pipelines leaks, polluting the en- 
virorunent and endangering public health. 
They seem to do whatever needs to be done at 
the moment, but nothing more. As soon as 
public attention turns away, if s back to busi- 
ness as usual."** 

That view appeared to be shared by Illiiwis 
officials who had worked with Williams. 
"When they're pushed into a comer, they're 
responsible," said Jim O'Brien of the Illinois 
Environmoital Protection Agency. "Other- 
wise, it's.. ..just see what they can get away 
with." 

A Big Compoay 

The Williams Companies of Tulsa, Ok- 
lahoma is no small outfit It is the fourth 
largest petroleum products pipeline company 
in the nation, right behind Amoco, Mobil arwl 
Exxon. The company operates more than 
8,500 miles of pipelines that transport crude 
oil, petroleum products and liquid fertilizer to 
some 45 terminals in North and South Dakota, 
Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Min- 
nesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. 

Some of Williams' oldest lines were built in 
the 1930s without any corrosion protection. 
And although the company decommissioned 
about 2,100 miles of its oldest lines, it left 



hundreds of miles of deteriorating lines in 
operation. 

In early 1992, VS. Senator Tom Daschle 
(D-SD) wanted to know why the company's 
aging lines weren't being monitored more 
closely, or better still, replaced. "It's unfor- 
timate we've had to just wait for another 
spill," he said. "If Williams were a good cor- 
porate citizen, you'd expect them to be 
morutoring these aging lines closely.' 

What was particularly troubling to Daschle 
and other South Dakota officials was the fact 
that a leaky Williams pipeline passed over the 
Big Sioux Aquifer, which supplies half of 
Sioux Falls' drinking water. To protect the 
aquifer. South Dakota's Attorney General had 
filed a civil action against Williams and, at one 
point, Sioux Falls city commissioners dis- 
cussed rerouting the pipeline. 

By April 1992, a Sioux Falls Pipeline Safety 
Committee had issued a seven-point plan for 
dealing with the Williams lines. They called 
for vapor and corrosion testing along the line; 
lowering the operating pressure; installing 
remote-controlled valves with electronic 
sensing devises; and requiring Williams to 
complete a spill response and clean up plan 
for the Big Sioux Aquifer area. * 

Earlier, in February, the South Dakota 
Senate unanimously passed a resolution 
urged Williams to install monitoring and 
sensing devices in sections of the pipeline that 
threatened groundwater. But in the House, a 
measure aimed at regulating pipelines was 
watered dovm to request a year-long study of 
pipeline safety. 

A Deterioratiag System 

South Dakota isn't alone in grappling with 
pif>eline safety. Other state and federal offi- 
cials are also taking a closer look at the 
nation's peh-oleum pipeline system. They are 
finding an aging, corroding network in need 
of extensive repair and replacement. 

"A major challenge ahead is the general 
aging of the pipeline infrastructure," sayi- 
Travis Dungan of DOTs Office of Pipeline 
Safety." 

In New Mexico, the director of the state's 
Oil Conservation Division (OCD), William J. 
LeMay, reported that in the first four months 
of 1991, "60 percent of production line leaks 
reported to OCD and 86 percent of injection 



laUDEAWUENING 



fnaii^^biiii 



149 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



line leaks were attributed to corrosion — 
totalling approximately 3,400 barrels of oil 
and 3,900 barrels of [produced] water..."" 

In the Great Lakes states, "a potential spiU 
from storage tanks and pipelines is particular- 
ly acute because of the aging pipeline and 
storage tank infrastructure," concluded a Sep- 
tember 1991 report to the region's gover- 
nors." 

In the Gulf of Mexico, "corrosion is the 
leading cause of failures of subsea pipelines," 
an industry investigator reported in Oil & Gas 
journal.'" 

The Alaskan Pipline 

Pipeline corrosion is not always the hand- 
iwork of time and nature. Indeed, sometimes 
those who designed and built the pipeline 
must carry the blame for the speed and extent 
of corrosion. 

The Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System 
(TAPS), for example, was supposed to be the 
engineering marvel of its time. The oil in- 
dustry boasted that it would last 30 to 40 
years. Some even called it "rustproof." 

But in 1990, only 13 years after the line 
opened, Alyeska — the oil company consor- 
tium that owns and operates the pipeline — 



found hundreds of corroded spots in the 
pipe's steel walls, some as large as quarters. 

"What's surprising to us is the degree of 
corrosion," said DOT's pipeline safety direc- 
tor, George W. Tenley, when the corrosion 
reports first arrived. "I don't think anybody 
expected to see this much rust this soon."" 

It turns out that some of the premature 
rusting was due to sloppy work, perhaps the 
result of market pressure to speed construc- 
tion. "They were in a real hurry to turn the 
sucker on and start getting a cash flow when 
they misapplied the pipe's protective coat- 
ing," explained Robert LaResche, an inves- 
hgator for the State of Alaska.'" 

Given the hostile environment it would 
traverse — 800 miles, 3 mountain ranges, 
hundreds of rivers, temperatures that range 
between 90 degrees in the summer Jind 75 
below in the winter — the TAPS had to be 
more than just a run-of-the-mill pipeline. It 
had to be a pipe four feet in diameter that 
would carry about 80 million gallons of warm 
oil every day south from Prudhoe Bay to the 
port of Valdez. Half the pipeline would be 
buried — often in frozen soil — while half 
would be built on above-ground trestles. 

The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company 







TABLE 6-5 








The Williams Record: A Slew Of Spills, 1964-1992 




DATE 


LOCATION 


GALLONS 


FUEL 


CAUSE 


Dec 64 


Rosevaie. MN 


44,100 


gasoline 


tank overfill 


Feb 66 


Albert Lea. MN 


67,620 


gasoline 


seam failure 


Oct 67 


Steele Co.. MN 


109,914 


gasoline 


seam spin 


Feb 68 


Freeborn Co, MN 


67200 


gasoline 


seam split 


Dec 66 


Anoka Co. MN 


46200 


«2fuel 


pipe mpture 


Dec 76 


Clariis Grove, MN 


41,370 


X-9oil 


seam split 


Apf77 


Clarks Grove, MN 


47,796 


gasoline 


searn splK 


Feb 78 


Latimer, lA 


140,070 


liquid propane 


spill 


Mar 79 


Lyon County. KS 


192276 


etude oil 


spill 


Apr 80 


Rosevile, MN 


92,400 


gasoline 


fire/pump 


Jul 81 


Maplewood, MN 


100,000 


gasoline 


corrosion 


Oct 81 


Superior, MN 


114,000 




valve failure 


Jan 82 


Circle Pines, MN 


42,000 




girtli weld failure 


Mar 82 


RosemounI, MN 


250,000 


«2oil 


tank failure 


Feb 83 


Owalonna, MN 


280.000 




weld failure 


Dec 83 


Sturgeon Lake, MN 


68,000 


gasoline 


pipe njpture 


Jun84 


Rosevile, MN 


17,934 


fuel oil 


line break 


Nov 86 


Walertown, SO 


14,000 




hole in terminal lank 


Feb 90 


Walertown, SO 


13,900 




gasket failure 


Jan 92 


Renner, SD 


200,000 




crack In pipeline 


Sources SUH rKonls I wws reports " 









FrieiKk oi fix Earth 



CRUDE AWAKENING 89 



150 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



directed the design and construction of the 
pipeline; today, it is responsible for its opera- 
tion and maintenance. Alyeska was created — 
and is owned — by seven oil companies: 
Amerada Hess, ARCO, BP, Exxon, Mobil, 
Phillips aitd Unocal. 

When Congress approved the TAPS, 
Alyeska promised to install a special package 
of corrosion-resistance and early-warning 
technologies. First, the company would coat 
the steel pipe with epoxy and a protective tape 
to keep water away. Second, it would install 
a cathodic protection system, which used an 
electric current to thwart corrosion. Third, it 
would develop automated "smart pigs" — 
robots that crawl through the pipe — to detect 
corrosion before it became a problem. 

During construction, Alyeska even con- 
vinced U.S. Interior Department officials to 
allow improperly coated and taped sections of 
the pipeline to be buried on assurances that 
the cathodic protection system and corrosion- 
detecting pigs provided adequate safety. 

But government officials never required 
Alyeska to assess whether the cathodic 
protection system could in fact protect the 
pipeline."" And years later, after the pipeline 
was built, the officials would learn that much 
of the promised system was untested and ex- 
perimental. "Neither the cathodic protection 
system nor the corrosion-detecting pigs had 
been used on a pipeline the size of TAPS or 
under harsh conditions," concluded the VS. 
General Accounting Office (GAO)."" 

What about the smart pigs? By 1984, Alyes- 
ka had discovered they weren't so smart after 
all — the best pig could only detect spots 
where 50 percent of the metal had already 
corroded. After a worldwide search for new 
technology, the company began using more 
sophisticated pigs in 1988. The new devices 
could detect spots where as little as 10 percent 
of the metal had corroded.'" 

In October 1989, the new pigs helped 
Alyeska identify 827 spots with potential ex- 
ternal corrosion. Two years earlier, the com- 
pany had found only 14 such spots. Further 

— in direct contradiction to what Alyeska had 
told government officials during construction 

— the company admitted that no cathodic 
protection system could protect buried pipe 
where the coating aiuJ protective tape had not 
bonded properly. 

90CIUDEAWAK£NING 



Alyeska has begun patching the pipeline's 
weak spots, using steel sleeves in some spots 
and installii\g new pifw in other locations. 
Over the next five years, the company will be 
working on at least three weak segments. 

'State-of-tlw-Arr Leak DetecHoi 

The problem of detecting pipeline leaks, 
however, still remains. In theory, detecting 
and pinpointing leaks in a modem pipeline 
system shouldn't be difficult Loss of pump- 
ing pressure and declines in volume are ob- 
vious indicators of a problem. But even the 
most modem technologies — such as com- 
puterized leak-detection systems — have 
deficiencies. 

According to GAO, "although Alyeska has 
a computerized leak detection system, none of 
the spills that occurred along the pipeline 
since operations began in 1977 were initially 
detected by the system." 

Alyeska's system was originally designed 
to trigger an alarm if a leak was bigger than 
31,500 gallons per day.'°* But after the com- 
pany experienced an "unacceptable" number 
of false alarms, it asked to recalibrate the sys- 
tem so that it would only trigger an alarm for 
bigger spills. 

In July 1989, Alyeska reported that the sys- 
tem was accurately warning them of leaks of 
nejOOO gaUons per day. When the pipeline 
was at extremely stable operation, they 
reported it could also detect smaller leaks, 
down to 25,200 gallons per day. 

But GAO investigators found that the 
alarm system wasn't working as well as the 
company cUimed. In 1988 and 1989, company 
documents show, the system sometimes 
would allow potentially large leaks — over 
500,000 gallons per day — to occur without 
triggering the alarm. 

Another weakness in the system, GAO 
found, was that it did not identify a leak's 
location. "In most cases," GAO reported, "the 
exact location must be determined by visual 
surveillance," which is not always easy in the 
dark Alaskan winters." 

Once a large spill is found, GAO is also 
unsure of Alyeska's capability to respond. 
"Alyeska's ability to respond to a large-scale 
spill along the pipeline or at the terminal is not 
known," the agency concludes. 

Noting that the TAPS transports nearly 25 

Friends of tin brlli 



151 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



percent of the nation's domestically produced 
crude oil, GAO warns that "A major break in 
the pipeline could spill tens of thousands of 
barrels of oil on Alaska's fragile environment, 
and an extended shutdown for repairs from 
such an accident could affect the nation's 
domestic oil supply." '" 

Meanwhile, Alyeska says it is reviewing 
ways to improve its computerized leak detec- 
hon system. 

Too Cozy With Indostry? 

A major obstacle to properly regulating the 
Alaskan pipeline — and for regulating 
petroleum pipelines generally — has been the 
cozy relationship between industry and 
government regulators. 

For example, GAO found that the five 
federal and state agencies that had primary 
responsibility for overseeing TAPS did not 
have the "systemabc, disciplined and coor- 
dinated approach needed." Instead, "these 
agencies relied on Alyeska to police itself...""" 

The Wilderness Society charges that "For 
the past 13 years, both [Bureau of Land 
Management and DOT) oversight consisted 
largely of accepting whatever Alyeska told 
them about the pif>eline and corrosion."'" 

Florida pipeline activist Bob Rackleff has 
noticed a similar problem at DOTs Office of 
Pipeline Safety. It has, he says, consistently 
deferred to industry on safety issues. "The 
industry has far too much influence.. .for OPS 
to carry out impartial studies that viill lead to 
significant improvements," he told a U.S. 
Congressional committee in 1991."' In some 
cases, even in the aftermath of spills, the "or- 
ders" that OPS issues to pipeline owners area 
weak substitutes for real enforcement 

Take what happened in Fredericksburg, 
Virginia, for example. Colonial Pipeline Com- 
pany spilled 212,000 gallons of kerosene into 
the Rappahannock River, forcing the city to 
close its municipal water supply. 

After an OPS investigation. Colonial and 
the agency entered into an operating agree- 
ment in August 1990. This agreement, used in 
place of a more formal enforcement action or 
consent order, is typical of how the pipeline 
industry is "regulated" by the federal govern- 
ment and how OPS has often neglected state 
and loccil authorities. 

Colonial and OPS agreed that the pipeline 

Friends of the brtli 



would operate at a lower pressure until an 
ORA — Operational Reliability Assessment 
— could be completed. The agreement also 
required Colonial to subject the line to 
hydrostatic, or water-pressure, testing. All 
testing was to be complete by the end of 199 1 . 
The agreement was billed by OPS more as a 
"testing agreement" than the basis for an en- 
forcement action. It also fell short on other 
fronts."' 

■ First, the agreement never included con- 
sultation with the State of Virginia or the 
City of Fredericksburg. 

■ Second, the agreementallowed Colonial to 
hire and supervise a consultant to analyze 
the incident and predict the likelihood of 
future spills. "To allow a knovkTi violator 
such as Colonial to hire and supervise the 
consultant whose work would form the 
basis for an OPS enforcement decision 
creates ... a situation which at least gives 
the appearance of a conflict of interest," 
said Fredericksburg City Attorney Jim 
Pates."' 

■ Third, the agreement allowed Colonial to 
resume normal operating pressure and to 
terminate the OPS agreement upon notice 
to OPS. Says Frederickburg's Jim Pates, 
"The City would have strongly urged OPS 
to prohibit Colonial from increasing the 
operating pressure or terminating the 
Agreement until the ORA had been com- 
pleted and made available for public com- 
ment. The City was prepared to present 
proof that the pipeline, it its defective con- 
dition, presented serious and continuing 
threat to thousands of citizens in the 
Fredericksburg area.""' 



Where's The Regulation? 

Ten years ago, an EPA contractor writing 
about a new agency report on the hazards of 
petroleum pipelines wrote the following: 

"...Petroleum accidents cmd leakage cause 
many pollution incidents that are detrimental 
to both the national interest and the oil in- 
dustry. These accidents result in the loss of 
large quantities of petroleum, cause sig- 
nificant envirorunental problems, and subject 
segments of the population to potential 
hazards. Even small losses from a pipeline 
system cannot be tolerated, and it is the 



CRUDE AWAKENING 91 



152 



A CRACK IN 

responsibility of government and operating 
companies to protect the comntimity from 
possible damages resulting from a leak."" 

Today, with more than 12 million gallons 
of oil and petroleum products leaking each 
year from pipelines, and countless com- 
munities across America still threatened by 
corroding pipelines, it is clear tt«t the federal 
govenunent and operating comparues have 
not met their respor^ibilities. 

Although the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 is 
now law, the changes in the statute may not 
amount to much given the long-standing 
relationship between industry aiul govern- 
ment. 

The new law calk for DOTs Office of 
Pipeline Safety to issue regulations on safety, 
standards, and reporting "to take into ac- 
count" protection of the envirorunent. And 
there are also new requirema\ts for identify- 
ing and mapping pipelines located in en- 
vironmentally sensitive areas and those 
which cross navigable waterways.'" 

Pipelines in these two latter categories are 
supposed to receive "periodic inspection" ac- 
cording to the 1992 amendments, the regula- 



THEPiPE 

tior« for which are ru)t due until October 1995. 
But OPS has already missed the May 1990 
deadline for an inspection report that was to 
be delivered to Q)ngress."' 

OPS, in fact, was supposed to begin in- 
specting pipelines at two-year intervals 
begiiuiing in 1989, subject to appropriations. 
Today, the ageiKy says it focuses on high risk 
pipelines. Yet, in reality, its inspection force 
doesn't even allow that. 

"We're very under-resourced," said John 
Stoner, spokesman for OPS in February 1992. 
"We regulate 2,200'operators of pipelines and 
a network of 1.7 million miles...lt's a daunting 
task." According to Stoiwr, the agency has 60 
inspectors, or one ii\spector for every 28300 
miles of pipe.'" 

In 1990, according to Bill Shrank of the 
Natural Resources Defa«e Council, OPS as- 
sessed civil penalties in 46 cases averaging 
about $6,500 per case, or roughly $300,000 
overaU.'" 

Timid Steps 

The new federal law takes a few steps 
toward including environmental protection 



PIPEUNE LEAKAGE ABROAD 

Leaking pipelines and lack of regulation aren't problems only in the U.S. Overseas, 
the situation is even worse. 

Consider the Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline in the Amazon. A consortium lead by 
Texaco spent $150 million to build the 300-mile pipeline in 1972. Known the 
Ecuadorian acronym SOTE, the line runs from the oil fields of the Oreinte, across the 
13,000-foot Andes, and down to the Pacific oil port of Esmeraldas. The line has a 
capacity of 300,000 barrels per day. There are also some 240 miles of secondary 
lines."* 

According to Judith Kimerling, writing in Amazon Crude for the Natural Resources 
Defense Council, the Ecuadorian government has recorded approximately 30 major 
spills from the SOTE, with an estimated loss of 16.8 milhon gallons of crude oil. 
However, these are only the reported spills. With the system aging and corroding, 
more spills are expected. 

Spill control and clean-up are typically late or non-existent. "In the Oriente," 
Kimerling explains, "no equipment is available to mitigate or clean up oil spills. Spill 
response is limited to locating the source of the drop in pressure in the pipehne, 
turning off the flow of oil into the damaged portion of the line, waiting for the oil to 
spill out, and repairing the pipeline. Because valves along pipelines are designed for 
pumping purposes only, not for safety shut-offs, the nearest valve to a spill can be 
tens of kilometers away. Oil can spill for days before the breached line is 
evacuated." 

In Russia, leaking oil pipelines are also a major environmental problem. To speed 
construction of one pipeline, officials allowed builders to install cut off valves every 
30 miles instead of every three, meaning that a rupture could release the oil in 30 miles 
of pipe. In Siberia, one spill formed a small lake: 4 miles wide, 7 miles long, and 6 feet 
deep."' 



92 CtUDE AWAKENING 



Friinds o( the brill 



153 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



in DOT'S regulations, but it gives the agency 
wide discretion in making changes. But the 
new law is not really aimed at preventing 
pipeline spUls. 

Lacking, for example, are provisions for 
regularly spaced shut-off valves, regular 
hydrostatic testing of pipelines, use of double- 
walled pipes in new construction, or com- 
puterized leak detection systems — all of 
which are proven ways to prevent pollution. 
Nor do the new provisions allow citizens to 
intervene in administrative proceedings or to 
bring their own lawsuits when serious viola- 
tions persist and federal enforcers fail to act 

There is a provision that allows stales to 
take responsibility for pipeline regulahon — 
with the federal government paying 35 per- 
cent of the costs. But the law bars states from 
enacting laws that are tougher than federal 
standards — a rule that provides states with 
little incentive to aggressively address 
pipeline pollution. 

"Why should we take over regulations that 
don't have teeth in them?," asks Bill Markley, 
an inspector with South Dakota's Department 
of Environment and Natural Resources.'" 

If this provision were changed, states and 
localities — which are often closer to pipeline 
problems — might take strong action. "Local 
and state officials are often more aware of the 
real-life effects of pipeline accidents than OPS 
is," says Fredericksburg city attorney Jim 
Pates. "They are certairJy more aware of the 
potential health and environmental risks of 
pipeline accidents to their particular localities 
than federal officials are." 

Meanwhile, Bock In Florido-. 

By early 1993, Bob Rackleff and his wife 
JoEllyn had logged many hours with their 
neighbors and the Friends of Uoyd in fighting 
Texaco and the Colonial Pipeline Company 
over the proposed pipeline/tank farm com- 
plex. 

In their research, they learned that Colonial 
Pipeline Company was owned by nine oil 
companies — Amoco, Texaco, Citgo, Mobil, 
Du Pont, Phillips, BP, ARCO, and Union Oil. 
They also learned that Colonial had reported 
at least 25 spills and leak between 1982 and 
April 1990, amounting to more than 1.1 mil- 
lion gallons." They also discovered that DOT 
had fined Colonial $10,500 in August 1989 for 

Frienik of the brih 



failing to correct seven problem spots in two 
pipelines near Richmond, Virginia." 

They presented this and other information 
at countless meetings — organizing citizen 
testimony for no less than seven public hear- 
ings. They also filed civil lawsuits against 
county commissioners for holding private 
meetings. They raised concerns about 
groundwater contamination. They convinced 
state legislators to introduce bills that would 
limit pipeline eminent domain powers and 
tighten pipeline and tai\k farm standards. 
They proposed local pipeline sifety ordinan- 
ces. They brought a nuisance suit against 
Colonial. They insisted on competitive bid- 
ding procedures in the county reviews of 
Texaco's plans. They made TV ads to get their 
message out. And they formed key alliances. 

One very important alliance was with a 
group of South Florida shipping and uiuon 
interests called the Florida Alliance. The Al- 
liance — made up of marine shippers of 
petroleum and gasoline who feared that the 
pipeline would damage their business — 
provided over $135,000 to Rackleff and his 
organization. Most of the money was used to 
cover litigation and advertising costs.' 

Texaco and Colonial Pipeline, of course, 
did not stand still. 

Texaco's FuH-Court Press 

Texaco, after having its first pipeline 
proposal rejected on technical grounds by Jef- 
ferson County in May 1989, released a "new 
and improved" plan two months later. The 
company defended the new proposal with 
full<ourt press — undertaking a determined 
public relations effort, meeting with public 
officials to assuage their concerns, and releas- 
ing a public opinion poll showing that a 
majority of county residents supported the 
new plan. 

They also spent big bucks on a local media 
campaign. 

"They began a three-month media blitz 
that cost what 1 estimate was $300,000 for 
saturation local TV ads and print ads in the 
two newspapers," recalls Rackleff. "They also 
printed a newsletter and distributed it to 
every household in the county . Their ads were 
strongly negative against us. One radio ad 
compared us with Chicken Little — with a 
punch line of: 'Makes you wonder how 

CRUDE AWAKENING 93 



154 



A CRACK IN THE PIPE 



America ever put a man of the moon, doesn't 

One of Texaco's TV ads — run on all the 
local stations during prime time — attacked 
Rackleff personally. It included a clip of him 
speaking at a public meeting as a Texaco nar- 
rator asked "Who's side is Bob Rackleff really 
on? 

By the summer of 1991, however, the 
Texaco star was loosing its luster in Florida 
and elsewhere. A huge tank farm leak in Fair- 
fax, Virginia — just across the Potomac River 
from Washington — put Texaco in an unflat- 
tering light and raised the national visibility 
of leaking pipelines and lank farms (see Case 
Study n3). 

Colonial Pipeline, meanwhile, had 
troubles of its own. In December 1991, a com- 
pany pipeline ruptured near Greenville, 
South Carolina, spilling more than 400,000 
gallons of fuel oil and gasoline into a nearby 
waterway, ttveatening the drinking water of 
two towns.129 

Then, in April 1993, a Colonial pipeline 
spilled 400,000 gallons into Sugarland Run, a 
small tributary of the Potomac near 
Washington, D.C. Those visiting the city's 
famed Cherry Blossom Festival were greeted 
by fumes and sheerw of oil on the Potomac. 

Colonial had also been stynued in Florida. 
In August 1991, the company brought a 
federal lawsuit challenging a land use deter- 
mination by Leon County (the county ad- 
jacent to the proposed Texaco tank farm). The 
County was requiring Colonial to abide by the 
county comprehensive plan — which did not 
include the pipeline route. Colonial's suit 
charged that federal pipeline regulations pre- 
empted state and local regulations. 

That argument brought the Florida Attor- 
ney General into fte fray, as Florida asserted 
the right of state and local governments to 
regulate land use via the state's Growth 
Management Act. Colonial lost its challenge. 
For a time, the company flirted with an appeal 
but withdrew its notice in April 1992. 

Colonial and Texaco haven't left town, 
however. They are still attempting to win 
public approval for their pipeline/tank farm 
project and are still negotiating with local 
authorities in Jefferson and Leon Counties to 
am'end local plans and zoning. But the project 
is, for the moment, blocked by a stalemate. 



Bob Rackleff, meanwhile, is writing 
speeches for himself these days. He has be- 
come a hot property on the speakers' circuit, 
sharing his experiences with other citizens 
who have discovered the environmental 
dangers and operational shortcomings of 
petroleum pipelines. 



94 UUDE AWAKENING 



FriMik of the Eortli 



155 



CRUDE AWAKENING: References 

Sa Man Ool, •Pipeline Safely: A Leaky Hiuoryr Arpa Lmdfr. Sunday, Febiuary 9, 1992, p. 4-A. 

89 See, for exunpte, Minncsou Pollution Control Agency, Water Quality Stipulation Agreements with the Williams Pipeline Company - March 15, 
1984, 12 pp; August 23, 1983, pp- 2-5; and Ntovember 28, 1979, pp. 2-7; See alio, Miimesota Pollution Control Agetwy compilation, "Williams Pipeline 
Incidents,' 1951-1986, U pp, and, Todd Murphy, "Williams Leaving Trial of Leaks, Spills," Argut-Limkr, May 3, 1987, p 1-A 

90 Editorial "Put More Pressure On Pipeline Firm," Argus Imdxr, Februaiy 11, 1992, p 8-A 

91. Matt Cecil, "Seun Failures A Long-Slanding PloUeilv* In Special Sectioa "Pipeline Safety: A Leaky History," Arfia Leader, Sunday, February 9, 1992, 
p 4-A. 

91 Letter to the Editor, 'Effect of Pipeline Spill Can Last Forever," Af;^ haitr, Sunday, March 1, 1992. 
93 Lisa Gaumnitz, "City Wants Firm To Move Fuel Pipeline,' Aigut Leaitr, February 19, 1992, p. 3-C 
94^ "Committee's 7-Point Flaiv' Arfia Lmia, April 16, 1992. 

95. Robert Racklcff, "Out of Lme," EnrnntmBOai Action^ November /December 1991, p. 18 

96. William J. LeMay, Director, Oil Conservation Division, New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, Letter to Mr W.J. 
Mueller, Phillips Petroleum Company, Odessa, TX September 3, 1991. « 

97 Council of Great Lakes Governors, "A White Paper on Protecting the Great Lakes from Spills," September S 991, p. 7. 

98. J S. Mandke, "Corrasion Causes Most PipeUne Failures ui Gulf of Mexico," Oil & Gas Imimtl, Oaober 29, 1990, pp40-t4 

99. Timothy Egan, 'AlKka Pipeline Faces Costly Work to Stop Rust,' The Nm ror* Tims, March 11, 1990, p 22 

100 Timothy Egan, 'Alaska Pipeline Faces Costly Work to Slop Rust,' TV Nm ViMk Tiines, March 11, 1990, p 22 

101 US General Accounting Office, Trans- Afasb Pipeline, "Regulators Have not Ensured That Government Requirements Are Being Met," GAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 1991, p 23 

102. U.S. General Accounting Office, Tnns-AlBia Pipeline, 'Regulators Have not Ensured ThalCovemment Requirements Are Being Met,' GAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 1991, p 23. 

103. U.S. General Actounbng Office, Trans-A/asAsPipe/ine, "Regulators Have not Ensured That Govenunent Requirements Are Being Me^'CAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 1991, p 23 

104 U.S. General Accounting Office, Tmns-Atmka Pipdine. 'Regulators Have not Ensured That Government Re(]uirements Are Being Met' CAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 199L p. 23 

105. US General Accounting Office, Tmns-Altsbi Pipelint, 'Regulators Have not Ensured That Government Requiiemenis Are Being Met,' GAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 199L p 27 

106 US General Accounting Office, Tmtis-AUaka Piprhne, 'Regulators Have not Ensured That Government Requirements Are Being Met," GAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 1991, p 27. 

107 US General Accounting Office, Tnins-AJasta Pipeline, 'Regulators Have not Ensured That Government Requirements Are Being Met,' G AO/RCED- 
91-89, July 1991, p 27 

108 US General Accounting Office, Tniiis-Alasb Pipdine, p 39 

109. U.S General Accounting Office, Tmns-Alaska Pipeline, 'Regulators Have not Ensured ThalCovemment Requirements Are Being Met,' GAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 1991, p. 2 

1 10. U.S. General Accounting Office, Trans-Alaska Pipeline. 'Regulators Have not Ensured That Government Requirements Are Being Met,' GAO/RCED- 
91-89, July 199L p 3 

HI. Daily News (Anchorage, AK) story ated by the Wilderness Soaety, A Hundred Spills. A Thmtmnd Excuses. March 1990, p.3. 

112 Testimony of Robert B. Rackleff, President, Friends of Uoyd, Before the House Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Committee on Public 
Works and Transportation, Hearing on Pipeline Safety Act of 1991, US. Congress, Washington, DC, September 25, 1991, p 11 

113 Letter of Jim Pales, City Attorney, Gty of Fredericksburg. Virginia, to Hon. Norman Y.Mineta, Chairman, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, 
Committee on Public Works k Transportation, U.S. House of Representatives, RE H.R. 1489, Pipeline Safety Act of 1991, April 6, 199Z p 2 

114 Ibid 

115 Ibid. 

116 John R. Mastandrea, Projea Summary, 'Petroleum Pipduw Leak Detection Study," US. Envirotunenlal Protection Agency, Research and 
Development, Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory, Gncinnati, OH, EPA-6OO/S2-S2-O40 April 1983, p. 1 

117 Bill Shrenk, 'Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act - Regulations and Reports Under the Act But Ntn Completed and Other Questions,' Natural 
Resources Defense Council, New York, December 17, 1992, p 3 

1 18 Bill Shrenk, 'Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act - Regulations and Reports Under the Act But Not Completed and Other Questions,' Nahiral 
Resources Defense Counal, New York, December 17, 1992, p. 3 

119 Matt Cecil, "Safety Offiaal Agency Lacks Funding, Staff," Argus Laider. Sunday. Feoruary 9, 1992, p 4-A ' 

120. Bill Shrenk, 'Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act - Regulations and Reports Under the Act But Not Completed and Other Questions," Natural 
Resouraes Defense Council, New York, December 17, 1992, p 3 

121 Malt CeQl, "Safety Official; Agency Lacks Funding, Staff,' Argus Leader, Sunday, February 9, 199Z p. 4-A 

122 Letter of Jim Pates, City Attorney, Gty of Fredericksburg Virginui, to Hon. Norman Y. Mineta, Chairman, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, 
Committee on Public Works li Transportation. US. House of Representatives, RE: RR 1489, Pipeline Safely Act of 1991, April 6, 1992, p 3. 

123 George Thurston. Tank Fight Crew From Experience,' Tallahasee Democrat. March 26, 1990, p 1-A. 

124 Judith Kimerling, et al. Ammum Crude. Natural Resources Defense Counal, New York, 1991, p 43. 

125 Judith Kimerling et al., Amazon Crude, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, 1991, pp 69-70 

126 "Toxic Wasteland.' US. Neas b WtMd Report, April 13, 1992, p 42 

127 Remarks of Bob Rackleff, President. Friends of Lloyd, Before the Florida Defenders of the Environment 1991 Statewide Environirwntal Grassrtiots 
Networks Forum, Gainesville, FL. November 2, 1991, p. 5. 

128. Remarks of Bob Radileff, President Friends of Uoyd, Before the Florida Defenders of the Environment 1991 Statewide Environmental Grassroots 
Networks Forum, Gainesville, FL, November 2. 1991, p. 5. 

129 Associated Press, 'Pipe Spills Fuel in South CaroUna,' TTie New Yortt Times, December 22, 1991, p. A-30. 

130 Julie Hauserman, 'Colonial Pipeline Sues Leon County,' Tallahassee Democrat, August 17, 1991, p. 1-A 

Fricsds of the Eaifh is 



156 



CRUDE AWAKENING: References 

Supply Looks Safe." Argta Laider, Febniary 4, 1992, p 2-A; and Steve Young, "Siie of Williams Leak Revised.' Argus later, March 3, 1992 
44. 'InlemaDonal Spill Stabstics, 1991," Oil Sptll Inldligma Rtport. March 26, 1992, p 18 

45 "Inlernalional Spill Stalisba, 1991." Oil SpUl InUlligaice Rtport, March 26. 1992. p 5 

46 Wilderness Soaety. 100 Spills, 1.000 Excuses, March 1990, p 4; and Cutter Information Corp., "international Spill Statistics, 1989-1990," Oil Spill 
Inldhgma Report, March 28, 1991. p 11 

47 Cutter IrJormation Corp . "International Spill Statisbcs. 1989-1990." Oil Spill Inltlligma Riport, March 28, 1991. p 8 

48. National Response Center. U.S. Coast Guard. U,S. Department of Transportation. Washington. D.C. Freedom of Informaoon Act request. Summary 
of Reports received by Jack Doyle from 1992 database. Report • 111037. p 103. 

49 Cutter Irtformation Corp . "International Spill Statisbcs. 1989-1990." Oil SpUl Inltlligma Report, March 28. 1991, p. 26. 

50 'International SpUl Statisbcs. 1991." Oil Spill Inltlligma Rtport, March 26. 1992. p 10 

51. Washington State Department of Ecology. News Release. 'U.S. Oil And Texaco Fined For Pipehne Spills.' December 4. 1991, p. 1. 

52. Associated Press, "Gas Contaminated Soil Dug Up," Billings Gazjttte, April 22, 1992, and, Assoaated Press. "Missoula Raps Conoco - County Deutands 
Oil Company Protect Groundwater," Biflin^ CaitUt, April 25, 1991 , 

53. Associated Press, "Missoula Raps Conoco - County Demands Oil Company Protect Groundwater," Billings 6a2ttte. April 25. 1992 

54 Ibid, 

55 This account is based on Chuck McCutcheon, "Carlsbad Oil Leak Spreading Concern." Albiufutnfut journal, August 18. 1991, p. F-1, and Chris Shuey, 
Director, Community Water (Quality Program, Southwest Research and Informabon Center, Albuquerque, NM "Marathon Indian Basin Gas Plant 
Gathering Line Leak - Incident Summary and Recommendabons for Enforcement Acbon," July 16. 1991, 5 pp. (information and data based on 
docutnents provided by Marathon to the New Mexico Oil Conservabon Division through July 8, 1991 and on interviews with state and federal officials) 

56. Chris Shuey. Director. Community Water Quality Program, Southwest Research and Informabon Center. Albuquerque. NM. "Marathon Indian Basin 
Gas Plant Gathering Line Leak - Incident Summary and Recommendabons for Enforcement Action." July 16. 1991. p. 5 

57. Chuck McCutcheon, "Carlsbad Oil Leak Spreading Concern," Albiu^uerifut ]oumat. August 18, 1991, p. F-2. 



58 Denise Allen Zwicker, "Unseen But Essenbal: 

59. Denise Allen Zwicker, "Unseen But Essenbal 

60. Denise Allen Zwicker, "Unseen But Essenbal 



The Role o( Offshore Pipelines," Tht Lamp (Exxon Corporabon), Winter 1991, pp. 14-19 
The Role of Offshore Pipelines," Ttit Lamp (Exxon Corporabon), Winter 1991, pp. 14-19 
The Role of Offshore Pipelines," TTir Lamp (Exxon Corporabon), Winter 1991. pp. 14-19 



61. Jean Hayes. "Hidden Hazards: Spill Victims Quesbon Pipeline Regulations," TTir Wic(iil» Eagle. Sunday, June 7, 1992. p 1-C 
62 Ibid 
63. Ibid 
64 Ibid 
65. Ibid. 

66 Ibid 

67 Associated Press. "Gas Spill Disastrous to Prime Trout Fishery," Rapid City journal (Rapid City, SD), April 12, 1987 

68 Assooaled Press. "Gas Spill Disasbous to Prime Trout Fishery," Rapid City journal (Rapid City, SD), April 12, 1987. 

69 Associated Press, "Gas Spill Disastrous to Prime Trout Fishery," Rapiil City journal (Rapid City, SD), April 12, 1987 

70 Myron Levin and Traoey Kaplan, "Mobil Hopes To Stem Flow of Pipeline's Problems," Los Angties Times (Valley Edibon), Sunday. July 14. 1991, 
and Myron Levin and Tracey Kaplan, 'Pipeline Flawed, But Will New One Be Better?", Los Angeles Times. July 18, 1991, p B-5 

71 Myron Levin and Tracey Kaplan, "Pipeline Flawed, But Will New One Be Better?", Los An^ric Times. July 18. 1991. p. B-5: and George Stein, 'Mobil 
Decides to Replace 75 Miles of Leaky Pipeline," Los Angties Times. August 29, 1989, p 1. 

72 Myron Levm and Tracey Kaplan, "PipeUne Flawed. But Will New One Be Betterr. Los Angela Times, July 18. 1991. p B-5 



73 Myron Levin and Tracey Kapla 

74 Myron Levin and Tracey Kapla 
75. Myron Levin and Tracey Kapla 
76 Myron Levin and Tracey Kapla 



"Pipeline Flawed, But Will New One Be Better?". Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1991. p B-5 
"Mobil Hopes To Stem Flow of Pipeline's Problems," Los Angdes Times (Valley Edition), Sunday, July 14, 1991 
"Pipeline Flawed, But Will New One Be Better?", Los Angela Tima. July 18. 1991, p B-5 
, "Pipeline Flawed, But Will New One Be Better?", Los Angela Tima, July 18, 1991, p. B-5 

77 Amy Pyle, 'Criminal Case Filed Against Mobil Over Pipeline Ruptures," TTit Los Angdes Times. September 9, 1989, p B-1 

78 Office of Los Angeles City Attorney James K Hahn, "Hahn Charges Mobil Over Oil Spill Into LA River," News Release, September 8, 1989, pp 
2-3 

79 Telephone conversabon with Vincent B. Sato, Deputy Qty Attorney, Office of the City AtbDrney, Los Angeles, CA, July 12, 1991. and Sentenong 
Documents. Case No. 89R38169. People vs. Mobil Oil Corporation, el a/ . Judge Kwong, January 1, 1989, p. 1. 

80 California v. Mobil Oil Corporalion, In The Municipal Court of the Los Angeles Judical Distjia, Country of Los Angeles. State of California. Complaint 
Felony, No BA051493 

81 George Stem, "Mobil Decides To Replace 75 Miles Of Leaky Pipeline." Los Angdes Times. August 29, 1989. p. B-1 

82 Tracey Kaplan, 'Oty OKs First Stage In Replacing Oil Pipeline,' Los Angdes Times, April 12, 1991, p. B-1. 

83 Myron Levin and Tracey Kaplan, 'Pipeline Flawed. But Will New One Be Better?", Los Angela Tima, July 18, 1991, p B-5 

84 Steve Young, "Williams Blaming Spill on Hairline Crack in Pipe," Argus Leader. January 15. 1992, p 1-C 

85 See, for example Charles Laszewski, "Tests Confirm Flaw in Pipeline," and "Perpich Appoints Panel To Study Pipeline Safety," Sf. Vaul Pioneer Press 
and Dispatch. July 16, 1986, p. 1-A; Jacqui Banaszynksi, "Dad And Daughter Struggle to Keep Faith in Tomorrow," SI. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch, 
July 20, 1986, p. 1-A; Paul Gusbifson and Bruce Benidt, "Willianu Dispatcher Knew of Leak 20 Minutes Before Blast," Minneapolis Star and Tribune, 
October 23, 1986, p. 1-A; and, Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development, Policy Analysis Division, Minnesota Commission on Pipdine 
Safely. Findings and Recommendations, December 1986, 55 pp. 

86 Todd Murphy, 'Williams Leaving Trail of Leaks, Spills," Argus Under (Sioux Falls, SD), Sunday, May 3, 1987, p 1-A 

87. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, see Water Quality Stipulation Agreements with the Williatns Pipeline Company - March 15, 1984, 12 pp, 
August 23, 1983, pp 2-5; and November 28, 1979, pp 2-7, See also, Minnesota Pollution Conool Agency compilation, "Williams Pipeline Incidents," 
1951-1986. 14 pp; South Dakota Department of Water and Natural Resources. "Williams Pipeline Company Sioux Falls Spills." a table lisbng 10 spills 
thru April 1987, 1 pp.; Todd Mujphy, 'Williams Leaving Trial of Leaks. Spills," Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), May 3, 1987, p 1-A 

fpradi of the Earth 



157 

CRUDE AWAKENING: References 

3A Cutter In/ommioii Croup, Imernanonal Oil Spill Staushcs, 199i- Oil SpiU IntriligMice Report, March 18, 1993. p 25 ) 

Chaptcf 6: A CRACK IN THE PIPES 

1. U-S. Congras, Slaletnent Before the Subcomnuttee on Energy k Power, House Energy and Commerce Committee, May 22, 1991. 

2. Robert RacUeff, "Out of Une," EntTinniineiilaf Achm, November/ December 1991, p 16 

3. Author conversations with Bob Rackleff and other sources, induding: Matt Bokot, "Fuel Plan Ignites PR Exec, Tiny Town," TV Mum HotIiI, 
November 12. 19», p 6-B; Ceorge Thurston, Tank Fight Crew From Experience," r«n«taB«r DeiKicnii. March 26, 1990, p 1-A, Bob Rackleff, "Fighting 
A Hotida Pipeline," Emnniiiinoilaf Adim, November /December 1991, pp 16-17, and Marie loyoe, "Fighting Big Oil" TV Fr<r Lanor-Slar (Fredericksburg, 
VA), September 10, 1992, p- D-1 

4. See, for example. Remarks of Bob Rackleff, President, Friends of Uoyd, Rorida Defenders of the Environment, 1991 Statewide Environmental 
Grassroots Networks Foninv Gainesville, FU November 2. 1991, 16 pp ; Renurks of Bob Rackleff, Friends of Uoyd, The Hidden Dangers of Oil 
Pipelines," Environmental Defense Fund CxMifetence on Pollution Prevention to Protect Groundwater; Chicago, L November 17, 1991, 11 pp.; Bob 
Rackleff, The Oozing of America," TV W«s)iiii|tim Posl. September 15, 1991. p C-5; and Bob Racklert, "Out of Line," EntnnminCTital Acfion, 
November/ December, 1991, pp 15-18 

5 US. General Accounting Office, Polluhtm From Ptpc/ina, DOT Lacks Prevention Program and Information for Timely Response, CAO/ RCED-91-60, 
January 1991 

6 US. General Accounting Office. PMulion From Pipdimj, GAO/RCED-91-60, January 1991, p 1 

7 US General Accounting Office, PoHulion Fnmi Pipdina. "DOT Lacks Prevention Program and Infonnation for Timely Response,' GAO/RCED-91-60. 
January 1991. p. 2. 

8. US. General Accounting Office, Pollulwn From Ptpdina, "DOT Lacks Prevention Program and Information for Timely Response," CAO/ RCED-91-60, 
January 1991, p 2 

9. Ibid , CAO, January 1991. p 5 

10. US General Acn>unting Office. Pollulion From Ptpdines. GAO/RCED-91-60. January 1991. p 3 

II /^ssoaauon of Oil Pipelines. Chi Pipdutes o^lV Umlof Slates Pnijnss «iul Outlook. Washington. DC. August 1991, p 7 

12. Friends of Uoyd. The Real Colonial Pipeline Record." September 9. 1990. 1 page (based on reports from the US Department of Transportation. 

Research k Special Prograim Adnuiustraoon, ColonUI Pipeline Accident Reports, and Office of Pipeline Safety reports) 

13 Daryl Lease, "Pipeline Company Disaplined 3 Times," TV Frrc Pros (Fredericksburg, VA). January 6, 1990. p 1 

U Robert McQure. XM Spills Endanger Delicate Everglades." Sun Soilinel. March 6. 1990. pp 1-A k 9-A 

15 Robert McQure. XM SpUls Endanger Delicate Everglades." Sun Sendnri, March 6, 1990. pp 1-A k 9-A 
16. Robert McQure. "Oil SpUls Endanger Delicate Everglades." Sun Soilmtl, March 6. 1990, pp. 1-A k 9-A. 
17 Robert McQure. "Oil Spills Endanger DeUcate Everglades." Sun Smlincl. March 6. 1990. pp 1-A ic 9-A 

16 Amoco Corporation. Form 10-K (1991), US SecuriUes and Exchange Commission. January 31. 1992, p 6 
19 US Securities and Exctiange Commission, Form 10-K, Mobil Corporation. 1991, pp 1, 13. k 38 

20- US Securibes and Exchange Commission, Form 10-K, Shell Oil Company, 1991. p 13 
21 US Securities k Exchange Commission, Form lO-K. Sun Company. Inc. 1990. p 8 
21 Unocal Corporation, Ftjcm 10-K, U.S. Securibes and Exchange Coirunission, 1991, p. 9 

23 Leonard Buder, "New York Gty Accuses Exxon of Fraud in Spill." TV Nra Vort Tims. February 8. 1990, p. B-2, and "New York Qty Sues Exxon 
Over Oil Spill in January," TV W«J/ SIrtrt \mmul, February 8, 1990. p A-8 

24 Leonard Buder, "New York Qty Accuses Exxon of Fraud in Spill." TV Nno Yorik Tims. February 8. 1990, p B-2 

25 Allan R. Cold, "Exxon To Pay Up To $15 MiUion for SpUl," TV Nnir Yor* Time. March 15. 1991, p B-1. 

26 Patrick Lee, "Al»k«'s OU: New Fuel for Old Debate," TV Loj Angda Tima. September 15. 1991. p. A-10 

27 "International SpUl Stalisocs, 1991," OU SpiU Intdhgtm Rifnrt, March 26. 1992. p 8 

28 'Intemabonal SpiU SoUltics. 1991." Oil Spill hldligmct Rrport, March 26, 1992. p 15 

29 Caleb Solomon, "Shell, A Fallen Champ of Oil Industry, Tries to Regain Its Footing" TV Wdl Sired Imrml, August 30. 1991, p 1 

30. WUderness Soaety. 100 SpUla, 1,000 Eicues. March 1990. p 8 

31. Unda Shaw k Thom» Guillen. "Major Oil SpiU Cortalled." S<*lllc Time. January 7. 1991. p A-1; Kathy George. "Oil SplU iOfiOO Larger 
Than Suspecvd," St*ttlc Pimt- Inldligtxxr, January 8. 1991. Joni Baiter k Thomas Guillen. Inodenl In Tacoma Not First For US Oil." 
Sattic Tints. January 8. 1991. p 1, John Ballet, "Finn Mops Spill, But Dirt Goes Unclaimed," SaHIt Tima, January 9. 1991, p B-4, and 
Associated Press, "Spill Esbmale Now 600,000 Gallons,' Saltlr Times, January 16. 1991 

31 Cutter Information Corp . 'Internauonal Spill Sutisucs. 1989-1990." Oil SpUl Inlrlligma Rrport. March 28. 1991. p 16 

33 Daniel Dighton. "Upsute Pipelme Spews Oil." TV Slatt (Columbia. SC), December 21. 1991, p 1. and Associated Press. "Fuel Leaking to Creeks in 
Upstate S C." TV Tima-Ntat (Hender-sonvUle. N C) December 21. 1991. p. 5 

34 Cutter Information Corp, "International Spill Statistics. 1989-1990." Oii Spill Inlclligmct Report, March 28. 1991, p 3 

35 Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Offiie of Chemical Safety. "Newton Lake Oil Spill." File. DS:syg/sp/1753|/8. 19 pp 

36 Cutter Information Corp, "International SpUl Statistics. 1989-1990," Oil Spill InltlligBia Rrport. March 28, 1991, p 23 
37. "Oil Transport Une Bursts," Los Angtla Times, April 5, 1989. 

38 Cutter Information Corp, "International Spill Statistics. 1989-1990.' OU SpUl InUlligma Rrport. March 28, 1991, p. 21 

39 Blooinbeig Business News, "Shell Pipeline Fiiushes Repairs on Ruptured Une," TV Nm York Times, Dece m ber 1, 1992, p D-5. 

40 Cutter Information Cocp, "International Spill Stataoo, 1989-1990," Oil SpiH Inttlligmcc Kifort. March 281 1991, p. 26. 

41 WUderness Society, 100 SpiUa^ 1,000 Einiso, March 1990, p 7 

42. WUdemeis Society, 100 Spills, 1.000 Exnnea, March 1990. 
p 6 

43. See, for example. Associated Press. "Fuel Leak Unked to Hairline Crack in Buried Pipe," Rapitf City /ounial (Rapid Cty, SO), January 17, 1992; Carson 
Walker. "Bpeline Leak Would Ei^danger Cty Water," Argus Leader (Sioux Falls. SD). January 31. 1992; Carson Walker. "EPA To Evaluate Spill; Water 

Fticads Df Ike Eartk 11 



158 

Mr. BORSKi. The gentlewoman from Virginia. 

Ms. Byrne. Mr. Rackleff, I just want to thank you for being here 
to show that these concerns are not just Fairfax County or North- 
em Virginia or the Washington metropoUtan area. They are truly 
national in scope. And as the Congresswoman that represents both 
the Texaco Tank Farm and Colonial Pipeline, I can tell you that 
your concerns are well founded and I thank you for being here. 

Mr. BORSKI. No fiuther questions? 

Thank you very much. We appreciate your testimony and we 
thank you for coming to Washington to help us out. This sub- 
committee hearing is adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 4:27 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.] 

[Subsequent to the hearing, additional questions were submitted 
to Mr. Rackleff. The questions and responses follow:] 



159 



Robert B. Rackleff 

816 Cherry Street 

Tallahassee, Florida 32303 

(904) 222-9789 

fax (904) 222-5026 

June 29, 1993 

Honorable Robert A. Borski, Chairman I 
Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 
Committee on Public Works and Transportation 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Suite 2165 Rayburn House Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Mr. Chairman; 

I am delighted to respond to the questions in your letter of 
June 21, 1993 and welcome the interest of the subcommittee in the 
serious problem of pollution from oil pipelines. Let me also 
thank you for the opportunity to share my information with the 
subcommittee at the May 18 hearing. Besides my written response 
in this letter, I request that you also include in the hearing 
record the materials I enclose about my sources of data. 

Question #1: The Department of Transportation Office of 
Pipeline Safety, the National Tranportation Safety Board, the 
Environmental Protection Agency, and the General Accounting 
Office have all testified that pipelines have the best overall 
safety record in terms of transporting petroleum products. 
You've asserted that pipelines spill more product than water 
carriers, and have stated for the record that your assumption is 
based on data which are provided by the Office of Pipeline 
Safety. How do you explain this discrepancy? 

I assume that when you wrote "safety," you meant the volumes 
of leaks and spills rather than public safety as measured in 
fatalities and injuries. I stated in my written testimony that 
the claims of oil pipelines' superior record were based on flawed 
data that seriously undercount the volumes which pipelines spill. 
In several telephone conversations later in the week of the May 
18 hearing, I confirmed that, indeed, they used these data. 

The agencies you mentioned all used pipeline spill data in 
the Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) , which compiles 
raw data from reports to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response 
Center. For a variety of reasons, pipeline operators do not 
report most oil pipeline spills to the Coast Guard, which is 
primarily concerned with spills in U.S. waters, and not inland 
pipeline spills. 



160 



Although ERNS data show about twice the number of spills as 
OPS data, they seriously undercount the volume of these spills. 
As the GAO noted in its 1991 report, "Pollution from Pipelines: 
DOT Lacks Prevention Program and Information for Timely 
Response," ERNS data show that oil pipelines spill "nearly 20 
million gallons" for the years 1980 to 1989. Yet the OPS's 
Annual Report on Pipeline Safety for the same years reported 
spills of 109,543,640 gallons. ^ 

I invite you to check my methodology, in which I obtained 
all of OPS's annual reports and added up the volume of crude oil 
and petroleum products spilled each year. I enclose copies of 
the relevant tables showing spills from 1970 to 1992. I obtained 
data about spills from tankships and barges from 1973 to 1992 
from the Marine Environmental Protection Division, U.S. Coast 
Guard, and enclose copies of those tables. To adjust for ton- 
miles transported, for a fair comparison, I obtained that data 
from the Association of Oil Pipe Lines. 

These data show that pipelines spilled 272,015,306 gallons 
of crude oil and petroleum products from 1970 to 1992, and that 
marine carriers spilled a total of 92,340,884 gallons of crude 
oil and petroleum products from 1973 to 1992. Adjusted for ton- 
miles transported, pipelines spilled 20,928 gallons per billion 
ton-miles and water carriers spilled 9,947 per billion ton-miles. 
Thus, pipelines are not the most environmentally compatible mode 
of transporting oil. 

In the 1988 report. Pipelines and Public Safety , the 
Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, used 
the same OPS data as I did. It reported on page 2, which I 
enclose: 

Despite this good [public] safety record, pipeline 
operators reported more than 10,000 failures to liquids 
and gas transmission and gathering lines between 1971, 
the first full year of federal required reporting, and ^ 
1986, the latest year for which data are available. 
These failures resulted in total estimated property 
loss of approximately $300 million in 1986 dollars, and 
commodity loss of nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil 
and petroleum products plus an unguantified amount of 
natural gas. [emphasis nine] 

Five million barrels are, of course, 210 million gallons. 

The Houston Post recently published three articles about 
leaking oil pipelines and tank farms which also used the same 
data I did. It reported on May 23, 1993 that oil pipelines 
"spilled more than twice the 4.6 million gallons tankers and 



161 



barges spill annually." I enclose a copy of the three articles, 
which I request that you reprint in the hearing record. 

In the data I have submitted, you may be able to note a fact 
which I find astonishing: In 1991 and 1992, one company alone, 
Colonial Pipeline, spilled more than did all tankships and barges 
throughout the United States in those two years. Colonial 
spilled 566,496 gallons, according to OPS incident reports, and 
all water carriers spilled 529,693 gallons, according to the 
Coast Guard's Marine Environmental Protection Division, in those 
two years. 

I was also astonished to hear OPS officials at the May 18 
hearing claim that pipelines are more environmentally compatible 
than other modes of transporting oil, because they have 
previously stated that they have not studied the data and have 
never drawn such conclusions. In a letter to me on March 16, 
1992, Travis Dungan, Admnistrator, Research and Special Programs 
Administration, stated, 

In Congressional hearings and various 
publications, we have characterized pipelines as "one 
of the safest modes of transportation" and have 
referred to the "excellent safety record of pipeline 
transportation." These assertions have been made in 
relation to safety (e.g., number of fatalities and 
injuries) and not environmental protection (e.g., 
number of barrels lost) . To my knowledge, no one from 
RSPA has ever made a claim that pipelines offer the 
most environmentally compatible method for 
transportation of petroleum. [emphasis mine] 

On April 17, 1992, George W. Tenley Jr., Associate 
Adminstrator for Pipeline Safety, wrote to me that the Florida 
Energy Pipeline Association had falsely cited the U.S. Department 
of Transportation as the source of data which the FEPA stated 
showed the superior spill record of oil pipelines. Tenley wrote: 

We did not recognize the statistics in the article 
and called the FEPA Executive Director to determine the 
source. He, in turn, referred us to the contributing 
author who, upon checking, acknowledged the statistics 
were not from DOT but from a brochure published by the 
Association of Oil Pipelines. . . . 

To avoid any further confusion, we are requesting 
the FEPA Executive Director to issue a retraction in 
the next issue of the newsletter. . . . 

With respect to the assertions in the article, we 
cannot at this time categorically confirm or deny them. 



162 



since the statistics are not from DOT data bases, we 
would have to undertake a significant amount of 
validation, analysis, and interpretation to arrive at 
any responsible conclusions. [emphasis nine] 

I enclose copies of the letters quoted above and request that you 
reprint them in the hearing record. If the Office of Pipeline 
Safety has carried out the "significant amount of validation, 
analysis, and interpretation" necessary to justify its claim at 
the May 18 hearing, I would appreciate receiving such documents 
to review and comment on. ' 

Having stated that OPS data about oil pipeline spills are 
more accurate than the ERNS data, let' me hasten to add that the 
OPS data also undercount these spills, albeit less than the ERNS 
data. As a result, the data are deeply flawed as a basis for 
policy development or public information. For example, there is 
no way of knowing whether a pipeline operator's good record at 
OPS is genuine or a result of underreporting the volume of spills 
or not reporting them at all. 

This is partly because the OPS in 1984 inexplicably relaxed 
its reporting requirements so that it now requires hazardous 
liquids pipeline operators to report spills or leaks of more than 
2,100 gallons (50 barrels), or that involve $5,000 or more in 
property damage or injury or death; the previous requirement was 
to report all spills over 210 gallons (five barrels) . 

As a result, the average number of liquids pipeline spills 
reported to OPS was fewer than half the 391 annual average spills 
compiled by the GAO. Note also that the GAO reported on spills 
in U.S. waters only, while the OPS data are supposed to reflect 
all spills, inland or in U.S. waters. 

Moreover, the GAO reported in 1987 that few pipeline 
companies complied fully with even the relaxed OPS reporting 
requirements and that the OPS was unable to monitor compliance 
with reporting requirements. The GAO was unable to determine the 
full extent of this underreporting. Other problems, as noted in 
1990 by an OPS official in conversation with me, are pipeline 
companies which underreport the size of spills, and failure to 
revise reported spill volumes upward after their initial report. 

As one test of OPS data accuracy, we compared the number of 
reported spills at OPS with known data about a crude oil pipeline 
which traverses the Florida Everglades. The Florida Department 
of Natural Resources has on file approximately 40 spills by 
Sunniland Pipeline; the OPS has two on file. 

There are even more glaring omissions, such as a leak in a 
Marathon Oil pipeline near Carlsbad, New Mexico. It leaked 1.47 



163 



million gallons of unrefined natural gas condensate and 840,000 
gallons of contaminated waste water between November, 1990, and 
April, 1991, according to the New Mexico Oil Conservation 
Division. The pipeline was so poorly operated that Marathon had 
not even installed flov neters at both ends, which would have 
detected such a passive leak. And because this was a gathering 
line deregulated by OPS in 1984, it was never included in the OPS 
spill data; it never happened, according to the OPS. I enclose a 
copy of a report about this leaX and request that you reprint it. 

I also enclose a letter from the New Mexico Oil Conservation 
Division expressing its concern about the growing problem of oil 
pipeline leaks because of corrosion. ; "Also," the letter states, 
we have reason to believe that the reported spills represent only 
10 to 50% of actual leaks. I request that you reprint it. 

Another recent, but unreported, leak occurred in Winkler 
County, Texas, in which a Texaco gathering line leaked almost 
750,000 gallons of crude oil on a remote ranch on January 24, 
1989. Because the pipeline was deregulated by OPS in 1984, this 
spill never happened, according to OPS data. I enclose a copy of 
a Texas Monthly article about this spill and request that you 
reprint it. 

In short, the inadequate data on pipeline spills are a 
serious shortcoming which distort the safety and environmental 
record of petroleum pipelines and thereby impair objective 
analyses of risks and the development of policies to reduce those 
risks. An important step forward would be to require pipeline 
operators to report all spills of one gallon or more, and to 
require these reports from all oil pipelines, including those, 
such as gathering lines, which have been unregulated. 

As for the federal agencies you list in the question, I hope 
that you require them to submit documents which support their 
assertion that pipelines are the most environmentally compatible 
mode of transporting fuel. I would like to obtain those 
documents and comment on them. 

Question #2: In your testimony you state that the Coast 
Guard severely underestimates the amoxint of oil spilled by 
pipelines. On whose data do you base your figures for the amount 
of oil spilled by water carriers? 

As I wrote in answer to question fl, the ERNS data report 
that oil pipelines spilled "nearly 20 aillion gallons," as noted 
by the 1991 GAO report. Yet the OPS's Annual Report on Pipeline 
Safety for the same years reported spills of 109,543,640 gallons. 



164 



The data for oil spilled by water carriers come from tables 
compiled by the Marine Environmental Protection Division, U.S. 
Coast Guard. The reports are enclosed. 

The materials I submitted in answer to question #1 are the 
primary sources from which 1 obtained these data. 

Question #3: How do the product recovery anoimts compare 
for pipeline and water carrier spills? 

I 
I have no data about this, but would be delighted to review 
and comment on any you may have. 

However, you question raises an important consideration, 
which is that where pipelines spill and leak can be more 
important than how much they spill and leak. Pollution from 
pipelines and water carriers both are serious problems, but we 
must remember that pollution from pipelines primarily 
contaminates fresh water while water carriers primarily 
contaminates salt water. 

Pipelines primarily leak and spill underground ,. on land, and 
on inland waters, immensely complicating cleanup efforts and 
jeopardizing vital water supplies for municipal, industrial, and 
agricultural users. At a time, when our nation must turn 
increasingly to groundwater sources for our water, it is growing 
more important than ever to protect groundwater from pollution. 

This concludes my response to your questions. 

To the three you asked, I would add a fourth question, Is 
there a safe way to transport oil? The answer is no, that all 
modes of transporting oil cause pollution, and Congress must help 
prevent this pollution at every opportunity. This is one of 
those opportunities. 

Again, I appreciate the opportunity to share my information 
and hope that the subcommittee takes decisive action to remedy 
this serious problem. 

Sincerely yours, 



:obert B. Rackleff ff 



165 



COMPARATIVE SPILLS AND LEAKS BY PIPELINE AND WATER CARRIERS 

OF OIL AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1970-92 

BY VOLUME AND TON-MILES TRANSPORTED 







Pipeline 


Water 


Water Carrier 




Pipeline 1/ 


Ton-Miles 2.1 


Carrier 2/ 


Ton-Miles 


Y^ar 


Spills faals) 


m 


Lllions) 


SDills foals) 


fbillionsi 


1970 


22,097,418 




n/a 


n/a 


n/a 


1971 


9,805,362 




n/a 


n/a 


n/a 


1972 


14,462,700 




475.8 


n/a 


330.0 


1973 


15,727,404 




507.0 


4,404,390 


296.8 


1974 


12,127,962 




506.0 


3,535,385 


297.0 


1975 


13,312,614 




507.0 


11,296/669 


298.0 


1976 


10,060,722 




515.0 


11,018,486 


306.9 


1977 


9,403,338 




546.0 


1,769,202 


333.3 


1978 


11,779,530 




585.0 


3,569,813 


530.6 


1979 


22,900,248 




608.3 


3,352,052 


522.9 


1980 


12,005,238 




588.2 


3,335,011 


617.8 


1981 


8,588,622 




563.7 


5,369,100 


617.2 


1982 


9,214,926 




565.7 


3,366,433 


616;9 


1983 


16,020,942 




556.1 


1,953,673 


630.5 


1984 


12,008,010 




568.1 


7,152,367 


.570.7 


1985 


7,065,702 4/ 




564.3 


4,417,032 


• 590.4 


1986 


11,756,850 




577.9 


3,031,437 


568.1 


1987 


15,341,634 




586.8 


2,222,546 


.566.5 


1988 


9,089,640 




601.1 


4,034,490 


543.7 


1989 


8,452,076 




584.2 


12,126,258 


466.2 


1990 


5,206,656 




583.8 


5,857,070 


454.5 


1991 


9,196,530 




n/a 


n/a 


n/a 


1992 


6,391,182 




n/a 


n/a 


n/a 


Total 


272,015,306 


10 


,590.0 


91,811,414 


9.158.0 


Average 


11,827,242 




557.4 


5,100,634 


482.0 


Avg Gals 21,207 






10,355 




Spilled 


per 










Billion 


Ton-Miles 











XI Source: Annual Report of Pipeline Safety (for years 1978-90), 
Office of Pipeline Safety, U.S. Department of Transportation; 1991 
data from OPS letter of March 16, 1992. 

2/ A ton-mile is movement of a ton of cargo one mile. Source: 
Annual Reports on Shifts in Petroleum Transportation, Association of 
Oil Pipe Lines. 

3/ Water Carriers are tankships and tank barges. Spills were in 
U.S. waters. Source; Oil Pollution Incidents, Marine Environmental 
Protection Division, U.S. Coast Guard. 

4/ Annual pipeline spill totals from 1985 to present reflect OPS 
change to require reports for spills of more than 2,100 gallons. 
Until 1985, reports were required for spills of more than 210 gallons. 

Prepared by the Friends of the Aquifer, Tallahassee FL, May 13, 1993 



166 



1992 auNuer ce ueuto pipojie 



lUCIDCVT SUWMY IT 
CAUSE 1 


• or 

iwaaeea 


TOXM. 
«.91 


tacT 

2,«3S 


ESTihATO 
WKPCTTT 
U«MS 

Sl.*a,1«B 


xor 

TOTAL 

2-fr 


FATALITIlt 


IMJUttFS 


Internal CarreBlen 


11 




Ixtamtl Cerrwfcn 


it 


».19 


39^1« 


rtS ,732,980 


2«.e 






Defactiv* U»ld 


15 


«.7t 


si.wr 


«.876,Aa8 


4,te 






Ineerr«ct Opcratien 


14 


7.U 


5,271 


SI ,523.566 


tut 






Dafacttv* Kpa 


11 


A.91 


7,«a 


«i,na,i«6 . 


2.15 






Outside OiMoa 


«1 


18 JO 


«0,Q54 


n.113,S73 


12.82 






Naif, cf Equipaant 


10 


A.M 


8,2S8 


e,3SS.250 


3.72 







Other 


86 
Z2U 


38 J9 

IOC. 00 


27.2S0 

"iS2,sei 


S29,<98.8W 


46.ra 




28 


TOTAL 


*63,7m^,230 


100.00 




SB 



iMciDBn gtaauLiY rr eowiootTr 



* OF 
CSMCOITT INCIDEVTS 


XOF 
TOTAL 


■AUELS 

LOST 


I i.>ATS) 
P>:t»'E«TT 
OMAflCS 


X OF 
TOTAL 

0.01 


FATALITIK 1 

1 


INJUS 


AnhydrajB Anenia 


S 


2.23 


410 


S,955 


i 


ConaanHtt 


1 


0U4 


C 


SO 


0.00 





c 


Cruda Oil 


81 


S6.16 


«7,618 


S49. 100.232 


77.60 


1 


\ 


Diesel fuel 


11 


4.91 


2,220 


S433,S00 


0.69 





2 


ttn... Anen. litr. 





0.00 





SO 


0.00 








jvi on 


17 


7.59 


4,522 


82,811.898 


4.44 








uk&»Une 


49 


21.88 


36,792 


S5,735.817 


9.10 








Jet ruel 


U 


SJ6 


4.317 


S900.000 


1.42 








iCeroaane 


A 


1.79 


348 


126,000 


0.04 








L.P.6. 


■11 


4.91 


11,132 


(881,750 


U9 


3 


31 


Natural Ces Liquid 


11 


4.91 


14,936 


S2.4U,578 


3.82 





2 


on «^ oaeolfne 


S 


2.2S 


S9S 


890,000 


o.u 








leluane 


1 


0.4A 


400 


&23.000 


0J& 








Tjrfoine Fuel 


7 


3.13 


2.465 


S217.600 


0J4 








VarieuB Petrel Proc 


7 


3.13 


6.775 


S312.100 


0.49 








Xylene 


2 
224 


0.89 
100.00 


291 


SIOO.OOO 


0.16 








TOTAL 


152.581 


863.274,230 


100.00 


5 


38 



167 



© 



ANNUAL REPORT ON PIPELINE SAFETY 
Calendar Year 1991 



Research ana 
Specai Prog'STis 
Aamtnisvahon 




PrepaieO fry 

U S Depanmem o' Transponanon 

Research ana Special Programs AOmmistraiion 

OHice ol Pipelir)e Safety 

Washington D C 20S90 



168 

Table 13 



Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Accidents Reported in 1991 

by Cause 



20 48% 




27.14% 



□ Outside Damage j 


External Corrosion ' 


Internal Corrosion j 


n Incorrect Operation | 


Q] Defective Weld 


Q Defective Pipe 


B Equipment Malfunction j 


D Other 

1 



Cause 


Accidents 


Barrels 
Lost 


Property 
Damage 


Deaths 


Injuries 1 


Outside Damage 




46 


48,305 


$8,555,831 








External Corrosion 




43 


10,334 


$1,427,659 








Internal Corrosion 




19 


38.966 


$494,100 








Incorrect Operation 




12 


5,375 


$127,973 





5 


Defective Weld 




11 


4,809 


$7,927,500 








Defective Pipe 




11 


30,576 


$2,177,433 








Equipment Ma/funct 


on 


11 


1 1 ,072 


$56,478 








Other 




57 


69,796 


$4,187,105 





3 


Total 





210 


219,233 


$24,954,079 





8 



49 



169 



Table 15 



Summary of Liquid Pipeline 

Accident Reports (DOT Form 7000-1) 

Received in 1991 



Cemmodlly 


# of 
Incldanta 


% of 
Tetll 


B«rr*l» 
Loit 


Property 
Damag*> 


* ol 
TeUI 


D»ths 


ln|url*> 1 


A..,.,. 





0.00 





$0 


000 





I 

° 1 


Anhydrous Ammonia 


s 


4.29 


268 


$30,209 


12 







Condensaie 


2 


95 


77 


U25.000 


0.90 





1 


Crude Oil 


go 


42 S6 


146382 


$17,707,932 


70,96 










Ditsel Puel 


13 


E IS 


9477 


$1,677,048 


7 52 










Ftrl. Ammon Nitr 





000 





$0 


000 










Fu«l Oil 


23 


10.95 


28836 


$1,144,653 


4.59 





° 




Gasoime 


2S 


1334 


6177 


$2,724,267 


10.92 










Jet Fuel 


2 


095 


166 


$34,350 


14 










Ke-osene 


2 


095 


1702 


$40,500 


016 










L PG 


13 


eie 


140S2 


$283,900 


114 










.5-, ^'31 Gas Liquid 


20 


9 52 


7704 


$329,020 


1,32 





4 i 




■ :. Gasoline 





0.00 





$0 


000 





3 




..i.ne 





0.00 





$0 


0.00 










Turbine Fuel 


2 


095 


2411 


$329,000 


1-32 





° P 




Various Petrol Proa 


3 


1 43 


26 


$16,000 


006 





° 1 




Xylene 


3 


1 43 


1901 


$212,000 


065 





° 1 




Total 


210 


100.00 


219233 


$24,»S4.079 


100.00 





J 





51 



170 



Table 14 



Summary of Hazardous Liquid Pipeline 
Incident Reports Received in 19iK) 

Summary by Commodity 



psKsm 


for 

IKtpfUS 


tOF 


IWHLS 


PaOFCITT 


xor 

TOT*L 


BCATg 


IIJMUQ 


Alkyat* 




0.00 





t 


0.00 






Artiydrout Maoii* 




0.S6 


2.622 


100.000 


0.64 






•utane 




1.13 


2,600 


66,000 


0.42 






Condensate 




0.S6 


UO 





0.00 






Crude OM 


91 


51.41 


66,8M 


8.256.629 


52.88 






Diesel Fuel 




5.0B 


S,697 


1,661.450 


10.64 






Fert., Mmon. Ritr. 




O.DO 








0.00 






Fuel on 


IS 


8.«7 


5.922 


319,000 


2.04 






Gasoline 


27 


15.25 


16,906 


1,979,327 


12.68 






Jet Fuel 




2.26 


2,790 


1,689,000 


10.82 






Keroaane 




0.00 








0.00 






L.P.C. 


IB 


10.17 


6,329 


1,169,039 


7.49 






natural Cas Liquid 




2.82 


9.400 


211,492 


1.35 






Oil and Gasoline 




0.56 


2 


50,000 


0.32 






Toulene 




0.00 








0.00 






Transaix 




1.13 


2.506 


12,500 


0.08 






Turbine Fuel 




0.56 


20 


100,000 


0.64 






Xylene 


_fi 


9.99 


9 





.9^29 


J 


J 


TOTM. 


177 


99.M 


123.908 


•15,614,437 


100.00 


s 


7 



49 



171 



SMWRT OF HAZARDOUS LICUID PIPELINE 
INCIDENT SEPOITS RECEIVED IN 1989 



suNMrr rr cawxiTi 



COMUDITT 




f or 

INCIDENTS 




XV 
TOTAL 


BARELS 

LOST 


PBOPEsrr 

DAMAGES 


X OF 
^ TOTAL 


DEATHS 


INJURIES 


— Alkyate 









0.00 





SO 


0.00 








Anhydrous Aamonia 


1 




0.62 


1 


: to 


0.00 





1 


.— Condensate 




1 




0.62 


40 


$26,000 


0.36 








^ Crude Oil 




68 




42.24 


117,082 


S3, 352, 568 


46.27 





, 2 


y^ Diesel Fuel 




7 




4.35 


3,511 


S253,740 


3.50 








Fert . , Anmon. 


Nitr. 




0.00 





SO 


0.00 


. tr 





^ Fuel Oil 




11 




6.83 


3,550 


$536,196 


7.40 








^ Gasoline 




40 




24.84 


18,113 


$1,029,220 


14.21 


2 


32 


Jet Fuel 




2 




1.24 


2,037 


$56,920 


0.79 








, — Kerosene 




2 




1.24 


5,1|0 


$79,600 


1.10 








--' L.P.G. 




IS 




9.32 


19,239 


$1,450,678 


20.02 


1 





^_ natural Gas Liqui 


d 11 




6.83 


27,432 


$451,743 


6.24 





3 


^- Oi 1 and Casol 


ine 


I 




0.62 


75 


$3,500 


0.05 








^ Toulene 




1 




0.62 


211 


$5,000 


0.07 








^ Turbine Fuel 




1 




0.62 


4,843 


$0 


0.00 








Xylene 









0.00 





$0 


0.00 


_0 


_0 


TOTAL 




^^'^161/ 100.00 


201,244 $7,245,165 


100.00 


3 


38 






Cl-^H 


'^ 


?,^r2,2o^ 









su 



/S, Z'^i, C3"/ 's-r 



172 



o o o o 



O Ol o- 



1 2 



! 

B 

i 

i 

m 



Sooooooooo'o^ 



o oi rtj 



si 



O ^ » g- O 

"■ s ^-^ 



^ to 




n i .. 






lA S> i?» o * SS o o -; « o 



•- «-! O 



*- o ol o 



o o •- 



O'OO''^"*®*'^ 




& s 



£ i i 5 : - 5 ^ $ 2 . 
1 I I I £ t X s : ! ^ 



■ — S 3 ">■ 

o •- •- *< 



52 



173 



TIBLB 12 

satiAXS or uqdid rz?iLiD 

IKIDKKT DSPOBTS (DOT POEM TOOCI) 
nCCTB) POB 1987 

imaoT sataxi m comoditx 

(BASED Oi lODIT COKPLKTE) V22/S8} 



CIDSE 


# OF 

lUCIDEKTS 


S OP 

TOTAL 


BARRELS 
LOST 


DEATHS 


iijimiss 


Alkyate 





0.00 . 











A&bydrouB Aaoosla 





0.43 


2 





1 


Condensate 


1 


0.*3 


1,500 








Crude Oil 


1U 


«8.51 


118,299 





$ 


Slasel Fuel 


12 


5.11 


6,081 










1 


0.43 


110 








Fuel Oil 


17 


7.23 


5,*21 








Gasoline 


51 


21.70 


31,933 





2 


Jet Fuel 


3 


1.28 


3,602 





2 


Kerosene 





0.00 











L.P.C. 


15 


6.38 


146,483 





1 


natural Cas Liquid 


U 


5.96 


43,132 





3 


Oil and Gasoline 


2 


0.85 


250 








Toluene 





0.00 











Turbine Fuel 


4 


1.70 


1,576 









TOTAL 



235 



100.00 365,389 



0» 



17 



* There Mre 3 fttalitles as a rasult of an ineideat IsTolTlaf an iatra- 
state operator for wbleb a wrlttao report, as required by Section 195.54, 
was Bot filed. 

■:^r, 2 77 
.K^ ^^-r 57 ' 



/i-^wWic^ >2?4^ 



/=, ^"^i: Cji 



174 



Tabic* 
SVMMARV Of UQUID nTEUNC WaDENT REPORTS RECEIVED IN 19U 



( ACaOENT SVMMAAY BY CAUSE 



No. 0/ 
Cant* iHCidtna 



Toial 






• o/ 
Toitl 



Dtaihs Injurits 



Iniemal Corrotion 
ExternaJ Corrosion 
Dtfeciivt Weld 
Incorrtci Operwion 
Defective Pipe 
Outside Damage 
Malf. or Equipment 
Olher 



II 


S.42 


6.n3 


39 


19.21 


24.134 


S 


3.94 


3.r74 


12 


S.91 


27.073 


16 


7.g| 


23.B13 


66 


32.SI 


92.IM 


4 


1.97 


494 


47 


23.13 


)00.7M 



S 20.933 
S 1.974.911 
S 1,724,962 
S MJ6I 
S 643Jt3 
S 4.073.929 
S 700,000 
S 3.923.073 



.14 
I3.0( 
11.43 
J3 
4.27 
26.91 
4.64 
39 J3 









^ 


2 


2 


1 














1 














29 



TOTAL 203 100.00 


279.925 


$15,097 J«l 


100.00 


3 


32 


INODEVr SUMMARY BY COMMODfTY 


No. of » o/ 
Commodiif lnadt%a Toll 


Lea 


Pnptrty 
Damttta 


TofI 


Dnihs 


Injuhtt 



Alkyate 





.00 








xo 








Crude Oil 


lot 


53.20 


113.724 


$ (.232.614 


54.53 





3 


Gasoline 


38 


18.72 


98,377 


$ 2.924 JOO 


19.37 


2 


27 


Natural Gas Liquid 


17 


8.37 


I5.70S 


S lJ26,2lt 


1.12 


I 


2 


Fuel Oil 




4.43 


5.042 




731.625 


4.83 








L.P.C. 




3.45 


19.619 




S4.533 


.56 








Jet Fuel 




.99 


552 




50.000 


M 








Diesel Fuel 


14 


6.90 


20JS4 




1.636.721 


10.84 








Anhydrous Ammonia 




.00 








.00 








Kerosene 




.49 


320 




150 


.00 








Turbine Fuel 




1.41 


•06 




151,000 


1.00 








Oil and Gasoline 




.49 


i.no 




14,000 


.09 








Condensate 




.99 


3.693 




33J00 


J2 








Fen., Ammon. Nitr. 




.00 








.00 








TOTAL 


203 


100.00 


279,925 


$15,097 J61 


100.00 


3 


32 



37 



175 



Table 7 
SUMMARY OF LIQUID PIPELINE INCIDENT REPORTS RECEIVED IN 1985 



TOTAl. 



1M.457 S.U2.M7 



-;^^iVMHAR\ BY CAUSE 
















r*>. »/ 


«o/ 


Laa 


Total 


»o/ 






Cmut 


ywrimc 


Total 


/Bamb) 


Demaiaiti 


ToiqI 


Dtaihs 


Injuries 


1„IB1>»I Cono5)OD 


16 


8.74 


4.302 


83.670 


1.63 





1 


jjojnjil Conwioo 


38 


20.76 


26,808 


1.089.399 


21.22 








Defective Weld 





.00 





< 


.00 








iBCorrect Openuon 


15 


8.20 


19.805 • 


1.619.500 


31.55 





1 


Otleca"' Pip* 


8 


4.37 


23.032 


316.000 


6.16 








Ouisde DiiM»e 


52 


28.42 


55.622 


817J73 


15.93 


1 


3 


ma of Equipment 


2 


1.09 


9S6 


29.250 


.57 








Oibcr 


S2 


28.42 


39.032 


I. 177.255 


22.94 


4 


13 



5,aD£.VT Sl-MMAIIY BY COMMODITY 



No. of 
liKUknu 



Total 



Loa 
(BarrHU 



Total 
DamattUI 



Total 







.00 








.00 


93 


50.81 


76.132 


2.389.915 


46.56 


46 


25.14 


23.336 


665.638 


12.97 


11 


6.01 


26.704 


50.799 


.99 




4.92 


5J86 


547.405 


10.66 




4.92 


29.027 


285.930 


5.57 




2.19 


2.218 


1.153.150 


22.46 




2.73 


2.712 


10.100 


.20 




1.09 


226 


500 


.01 




1.09 


1.299 


29,010 


.57 




.55 


100 


200 


.01 





.00 








.00 





.00 








.00 


1 


.55 


I.4I7 





.00 



1M.457 S,132,«47 



27 



176 



Table 7 
SUMMARY OF UQUID PIPEUNE INCIDENT REPORTS RECEIVED IN 1984 



ACCIDENT SUMMARY BY CAUSE 


















So. 0/ 
Accufenrs 


Taui 




Damates 




Deaths 




Cauit 


Loss 
fBvrels) 


Carritr 


Otktr 


Total 


Injuries 


Iniemal ConosioB 


11 


5.42 


6.126 


48.040 


2,700 


50,740 








External Corrosion 


38 


18.72 


33.403 


11.977 


8J00 


20,177 








Defective Weld 


S 


2.46 


1.826 


1.510 


550 


2,060 








Incorrect Operation 


12 


5.91 


11.001 


3,000 


9.oqb 


12.000 








Defective Pipe 


7 


3.45 


5.810 


11,115 


2,800 


13.915 








Equip. Rupi. Line 


53 


26.11 


53.235 


79.621 


677,020 


756,641 





18 


Other 


77 


37.93 


180.725 


4,025,732 


■ 552,570 


4,578.302 





1 


TOTAL 


103 


100.00 


292,126 


S4,1S0,995 


SI. 252.840 


SS.433,83S 





19 


















So. cf 
Acadms 


Total 




Domatt 




Deaths 




Commodity 


Loss 

(Barrels/ 


Carritr 


Other 


Total 


Injuries 


Alkyate 


1 


.49 


3.900 


600 


8.000 


8.600 








Crude Oil 


102 


50 J5 


178.847 


3,967.498 


367.770 


4.335,442 





2 


Gasoline 


3$ 


17.24 


33.951 


99,197 


400.450 


499,882 





12 


Natural Gas Liquid 


17 


8.37 


37.763 


r,791 


180.600 


208,391 





5 


Fuel Oil 


18 


8.87 


10,124 


14,459 


6.250 


21,269 








L.P.G. 


5 


2.46 


8.703 


35,666 


275,700 


311,366 








Jet Fuel 


5 


2.46 


2,926 


2,423 


1,520 


3,943 








Diesel Fuel 


11 


5.42 


7.339 


2,411 


9,550 


11,961 








Anhydrous Ammonia 


3 


1.4« 


6.221 


25,100 


1.500 


27,287 








Kerosene 


2 


.98 


416 

















Turbine Fuel 


1 


.49 


55 


1,500 





1,500 








Oil and Gasoline 


1 


.49 


1.543 

















Condensate 


2 


.98 


338 


4.350 


1.500 


5,850 








TOTAL 


203 


IW.OO 


292.126 


$4,1*0,995 


$1,252,840 


SS.43S.S35 





19 



26 



177 



Table 9 
SanavT of UqoM PIpHlDe Uddetl Reportt RcetiTcd la 1N3 



ACCIDCNT SUMMABV BY CAUSE: 





No of 


»o/ 


Lob 








*o/ 




Amdtna 


Toul 




Ctrrwr 


Oititr 


Toul 


Teul 


InirrntI Corroiion 


11 


«.n 


t.m 


*t.«90 


5.700 


M.390 


.77 


Ejnenift] Corroooa 


33 


a).5o 


10740: 


13,621 


46J33 


60.576 


.16 


D«fecti«c Weld 


1 


^ 


«.7O0 


BCD 


ijat 


JJOO 


.08 


Incorrect OperiuoB 


9 


5J» 


LOS* 


3.320 


«.no 


Ita20 


.12 


Defeaive Pipe 


5 


3.11 


<.602 


i.633 


10.100 


11.733 


J7 


Equip Rupi. Line 


50 


31.06 


71.355 


57.906 


1.903.926 


1.9».t32 


21 ja 


Other 


32 


3i.30 


17«J67 


4.630.133 


265.450 . 


4.193.513 


69.62 



3M47< 4.7i3.]t3 2061331 7.S32.034 



ACCIDENT SUMMARY BY COMMODITY: 





.VO 0/ 


• 0/ 


Lm 








*o/ 


Ctfuir or Commodity 


Aecidna 


Tout 




Camrr 


OtHtr 


Toal 


Toul 


Alkyue 





.00 














.00 


Crude Oil 


73 


43.34 


111.542 


4.241.673 


217.355 


4.536.030 


64.51 


Cuoline 


30 


11.63 


16.761 


r7.662 


54.370 


332.032 


4.72 


NaiuriJ Gu Liquid 


11 


6.13 


93.335 


1.503 


1.733.504 


1.734.504 


24.67 


Fuel Oil 


7 


4.35 


3.701 


7.70O 


7.100 


14.100 


.21 


L.P.G 


16 


9.94 


49.126 


26.306 


175.505 


201,111 


2.17 


Jet Fuel 


5 


3.11 


695 


6.409 


2.100 


1.509 


.12 


Diexl Fuel 


9 


5.59 


16.910 


103. I9> 


600 


105.791 


1.50 


Aahydrouj Ammonii 


2 


1.24 


3.219 


700 


2.400 


3.100 


.04 


Kerotese 


3 


1.U 


555 


S3. 000 





13.000 


1.11 


Turbine Fuel 


2 


1.24 


l.7» 


3.100 


5.000 


lO.UO 


.15 


Zni uid Cuolise 


1 


.62 


95 











.00 


Condeuaie 


2 


1J4 


111 


150 


1.5X 


1.650 


.02 



TOTAL 

* Percenuies Rounded 



3*4470 4.7(3.103 2JttJ31 7.032.134 



28 



178 

TABLE 11 

SWORT OF l.l-siun> TIPELINE ACCIDENT RTPORTS RECEIVED IK 1982 

«.'.•:.'■:'•• i.—^'' I' C»u5r: 

Kc. b' 1 ef» l«s I oft Duu» 1 of« BtilbiU InjuiitUt. 

.:i.=:.;i.:c»«DiU» iccideLts.lotiJ .iiiiitii: ItUl Cuuix Bli«i IflliJ IoUJ.Jitl.J(oo*»il-aitl-«ODt»i; 

;»:.■(«-. lO«-:;;> k t-v>. ii.w i.i> ?».;'i n.«f «.B7i z.bj « o o c 
ti-.r;i.i. co'-;f:c»« « ;i.x 3:.^4i m.w moo: k.ioc ?«.3c: i.tb o o c « 

TEri-TU'C ilELP « J. 00 lOiBSO 4.»0 13.376 1.600 H.97B J.Ol 

>v-i::- orffi-;9»- g ^.rip . 9,M" 4.J6 ;56.400 5.500 241. WO 17. 4» P 

H'ir-M '.•: 7 :.M 7.455. 3. J' 4,1»0 1.500 5.490 .36 C 

i:-.". fj=". i^E 4f 34.:; w.ti* «:.f? :i:3n 241.170 47;.i4e Ji.?3 1 : ' 

y.ri: Z: 26. ft M.5~° r« V Vt'^il 244,290 657,121 44.38 C " 

»::;. 25C lOC.f; 221.«1! lOO.OO ni.760 55B.770 1.4M.530 100.00 10c 

•o. tf 1 cM losi I of! Jtnuti 1 ofi — Dtttbstt loj^znill. 

.lolal IoUl..t»l..llaonil.^tLl..liaaeti: 



c:. "I D'"i 







.(• 


p 





P 


.00 








•l.CO 


i2f.t:; 


j-.t; 


324.015 


204. 05P 


530.065 


35.80 








I".:' 


4-.?: 


:c.:3 


2".2P 


B-O'C 


35.28- 


:.3E 





c 


:.o: 


1,34- 


1.51 


250.003 





250.0C'3 


16.8^ 








( -Ct 


».l'- 


?- 


r«-"5 


19.40C 


44.J»5 


3. OP 


t 




::.'• 


:?•;■'* 


ir,.;? 


i4!,t!.r 


101 -450 


247.ir: 


14.6' 










:■•:: 


1-4: 


1.217 





1.213 


.oe 








l.i' 


:-.:-3i 


1.(1 


2.615 


50t 


3.14S 


.21 








2.0" 


:.oc' 


.»! 


700 


1.300 


2.000 


.14 








1.50 


1.58; 


.71 


123.B00 


214.000 


339.800 


22.95 








.00 





.00 











.00 








:.o; 


lv.4-4 


♦.■J 


21.5P<. 


4.000 


27.500 


1.86 








.00 


r, 


.00 











.00 









Vi. 2C-: lOO-O: 221.4:1 10c. OO 921.740 558-770 1.480.530 100.00 

27 



179 



T«bl« 14 
Liquid Plp*»n« AccM*nt SitmiMFy ky Cm(M— 1M1 



Cause 



(Btrr»at 



Canal 



OM' 



Tott. 



S of CMrrmr Non CMrrier Nor 

Toul £mplo/9es EmptoyBes Emp/oyees Empioyees 



Inltrnal Corrosion 
Exltmal Corrosion 
?«l*Cllv« WtIO 
Incorroct Operation 
0«f*citv« Pee 
Equv Rupi Lnc 
Oliwi 



4«6 7.ME 3}2 ^%aeaa 4.000 197.600 

M90 209TO S7S 106.076 127.450 233.S26 

\B7 6J01 i»* 282 50.000 S0282 

668 11.589 540 600450 61.000 661.850 

4.60 6.900 3.22 10J88 2.275 13.163 

4142 111488 5219 1*03.672 1.777^60 3*80.922 

2385 49«40 2315 372.710 27.575 400.285 



377 
4 46 



7058 
7 64 



TOTAl. 



7» 100M 214JM IWJte *,1(M7* UHti M UWMt 1WJ« 



Tabtel5 
muU Plp«lln« AecM«nt Summary by C»mm«4lty— 1981 



froptny DlTitgt (Si 



Lots 
(Btrme) 



Carrier 



Omar 



Tola/ 



S of Carrier Non Carriei Not 

Total Emptoiaas Employaas Empioyaas Emptoyaes 




4812 
1955 
5 02 
4 60 
14 64 
12€ 



76559 
30*03 
31*46 

7S85 
46.974 
2.799 
1541 



35 57 1*74*96 971.125 2*46.121 
1457 I3S.132 740*50 880.082 
14*0 396440 160.800 557540 



3 72 

21*1 



7*56 
637538 



7.000 14*56 
54.375 691*13 



6,146 
10*71 



5655 

16.80 

1064 

58 



44.000 
tOJOOD 



47.850 
60.0X 



Conoensaie 


2 


84 


1^52 


C3 21*99 500 22.199 


42 











TOTAL 


a» 


1MM 


214484 


laUQ l,1U^n 2;»48*W MIT*2i 


10U0 1 


4 


s 


27 



.40 



180 



TMM 16 

Liquid PIpcirn* Accident Summary by CommodltiM Invohrad For th« Y«ar 1980 





-»-<t 




Lm 


Tmt 


fnfmtyOmmXU 




AMt «v«mf 


Oliiiw Aeatmt 


Omrm Omm r«K 


• «/■ 
■ttml 


Cmntr Mn C^Twr Mot 
C«w^itu ri»tijM Cmfitmi Emficma 



tm m» \n.TTr 



4M1» 4MIM4 tTIMO 



A.-iny«eui 

Ouoiin* 
0>«neauo>«* 



0—m fiim 
Conoanuw 

LPG 
NQl. 
unknown 



Ui« 


1 1 


7J 


MO 


173 


joarr 


104 


J.17SJ67 


3»7«70 


357X23» 


•.m 


J4 


602 





608 


2J«2 


1 


.•^ 


45300 


- 46.170 


tjDOO 


2« 


«M 





■ S34 


2**1 


10 


5131 


4550 


9M1 


a.rt3 


30 


65 9M 


2525 


66«13 


75 


00 











S0.M1 


17« 


172236 


277.760 


45ao'<« 


2o.n» 


7J 


153531 


125556 


27».067 


1J017 


4 


1f.«00 


500 


16J00 



1604 mtAtt WftS 4j67«JM 1>46M6 6421X1 



w 



181 



TabKS 

Liquid Pipeline Accident Summary 

by Commodities Involved 

For the Year 1979 





No. el 
Aceldama 


% 01 

Total 


Loaa 
(Banala) 


% ol 
Total 


Proparty Oamaga (S) 




C>uM ol Accldtnl 
Opvrillon Aceldvnli 


Carrlar 


Olhat 


Total 


% ol 
Total 


Crudt Oil 


131 


S2 2 


138.163 


25 2 


4.?ii.»l3 


1.527.077 


5 777.490 


48 


Alkyll* 











O 














Anhydioui Ammonii 


1 


* 


3425 


e 


200 


2000 


2.201! 





J*l Fu«l 


5 


JO 


3J33 


6 


9 150 





9.15(! 





Gatolln* 


3e 


15 1 


25 411 


46 


ioi.5ne 142 


303.4 11 


101.811.55-.1 


8<17 


oil and GatBlIn* 


e 


H 


1922 


4 


15960 


402.000 


417.96(1 


3 


Tucblna Fual 


t 


' 


ISO 











(1 





Karosana 




















•, 





Diaaal Fual 


e 


?4 


5397 


10 


19.571 


7.200 


26.771 





Fual oil 


2} 


86 


34 237 


62 


44 321 


552 700 


597.021 


5 


Cendanaaia 


1 


4 


584 


1 


2000 


750 


2.750 





LFO 


U 


135 


321.446 


5«6 


10444.6O8 


978.000 


1 1 422.608 


95 


NQL 


i 


20 


14 601 


3r 


47.963 


40000 


87 963 


1 


Unknown 

















4.000 


4000 





Tolala 


251 


996 


546669 


1000 


116 342.328 


3.817.138 


120 159466 


100 



CaiTlar Non Canlar 

Total Employaai Employaaa Employaai I 



through a longitudinal weld, one of several small 
cracks on or near a wrinlde in the pipe. The June 15 
leak occurred north of pnmp station no. 12 through a 
3-inch crack near a wrinkle in the pipe. Alyeska 
estimated a total commodity loss of 1,800 barrels 
from both leaks. 

NTSB Report Issuance 

In 1979 NTSB issued a report on its investigation of 
a liquid petroleum gas pipeline rupture and fire which 
'jcurred near Donnellson, Iowa on August 4, 1978. 
r'ropane that had vaporized and spread widely from a 
ruptured 8-inch pipeline was ignited by an unknown 
source. The intense fire killed three people, critically 
burned two others, and destroyed a farmhouse and 
six outbuildings. Before the fire burned out, 3,750 
barrels of propane had burned and 75 acres of corn- 
fields and woods were damaged. 

NTSB determined that the failure resulted from 
stresses exerted on the pipeline when it was lowered 



three months before the accident and to a dent and 
gouge which had weakened the pipe. 

Enforcement Activity 

MTB regional engineers conducted 6(1 inspections 
of liquid pipeline facilities under the Bureau's direct 
safety jurisdiction, expending 166 person-days. En- 
forcement actions were initiated against 13 liquid 
carriers believed to be in violation of the Federal 
regulations. Five investigations were clused without 
penalty as safely issues were resolved. Regional 
Chiiifs sent six warning letters to carrier'f found to be 
in violation of the Federal liquid pipeline safety 
regulations. Sixteen cases' remained active at the end 
of 1979. (See Appendix E.) 

The United Sutes District Court for Hie Southern 
District of Iowa levied a criminal penalty of $4,000 on 
the Mid-America Pipeline Company of Tulsa, 
Okltihoma for violations of the Federal r>'gulations. 



30 



182 



n e « 



n rx K 
n n n 
n ■* n 



« o ^ 

f^ e ft 



S ' 


> o 


o 


• 


n 


e 




3 


S ' 


' s 


n 


R 




N 


• 




» 




n 






■ 




« 
































n 










n 


m 




Ti 



C4 <e *« 



•- •€ 



*« N 



H-4 



183 



at o 



n o o 
CO •- « 
01 »- o_ 

oo" o) o' 

OCT* 
r- OJ •- 



eg o r« 

P". o » 

r. <o_ o_ 

«r cm" in 

es n n 

c\j •- irt 



^ (O n 
(O en <o 

«M CM » 



i/> «> t«« 
V r> »- 



o in •- 
V ^ <o 
» to 00 



<M_ to 0_ 



CO o_ o_ 
to' in o' 



O O 00 

r^ in eo 
O <D yf 



o_ o_ o_ 
oo" in V 



O) r» o 
P» 01 o 
o t^ eg 



to o o 

00 « o 

o_ •» o_ 

o> in in" 



* 00 to 
r» o •- 
<o_ eM_ *_ 

r-" tv el 



CM te o 
to o r« 
•-mm 



oo_ eo_ m_ 

tx' to" •-" 

r* »- o 

r» r» m 

— ' »-' to" 



to to o 
» * o 
r> o o 



■» M o 

ty r^ o 

m ^ v_ 

Kt lo' n" 



o_ o. to. 
to V m 



to o o 

CM o 

oi o 



a • ♦. 
»-* »-* n 



■*. ". 9. 

t*." o cj 

CM 00 O 
o_ 0_ l>» 
oi «<i V 



•- e <D 
a> o CM 

0_ (M ID 
to' to IS 



la ^ n 

« a> ^> 
»• •♦ to 



o> to m 
N a> o 
"". *^*, 
V V to 

«- • ^ 
m * <o 

<<< «> lA 



OB e <M 

rv o 01 
•- « o 



» »- « 

»- C> !«• 



o ^ * 

r« CO (M 

0> t>. CO 
CO* <-^ CO 



go «*. ♦ 
.9-0 o •- 
£ o e e 
5 o T «. 
e ^ ^ o 
n 1 . o o 
h> o e,*- 



8 o 
S>o o _ 
a o o o 
» o" T «. 
^ . o o 

.<9 O o ^ 



M O 

So®-* 
« * 2 — 
o o o o 

"lilt- 

• ■ o o 
2 o o ^ 

5 o" 



"3 o ® ♦ 
S o o ^ 

> o T «. , 
I o o - . 



184 



USDeparmreitt 
of Transportation 

United StatM 
Coact Guard 




Commandant 
U.S. Cout Guard 



2100 Sacond Straat S W 
Wathinoton. DC 20593-0001 
Stafl Symbol: G-MEP 
'*'^ (202) 267-6670 



5720 
92-0236 



f4r. Robert B. Rackleff 
816 Cherry Street 
Tallahassee, Florida 32303 



HAR 21992 



Dear Mr. Rackleff: 

This is In response to your letter dated February 14, 1992, 
requesting a table of annual totals of oil spills In U.S. Waters 
from tankships and tank barges. Please be advised that any 
pollution data provided may be ongoing and could change or be 
deleted at anytime. 

Enclosure (1) is the number of oil spills by calendar year and 
source. Enclosure (2) is the number of gallons of oil spilled by 
calendar year and source. 

Should you have any questions concerning this information, please 
contact me at the above number. 



Sincerely, 



^cxy^^cW— 



Mary Wobey ^ 

Management Information Systems Analyst 

By direction of the Commandant 



End: 



( 1 ) Number of Incidents 

(2) Amount spilled 



185 



9t GO 
^0* 



9vO 

(no 

lA o 



eo-*Q 
o> c^ vo 

in o» »* 
ot in ^ 



w V O 
^ a\ o 
t/> rs. OS 

M vO (S 
(s in p4 



n o> o CN 
<n CN O <o 

fM M « OO 

ph «o \0 m 
0\ ^ « O 



a\ d 

^o in 
n in 



00 vo 
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UNITED STATES COAST GUARD 

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licrtarvvtmartf Tht **nini»li«lor 400 S»«nni SirMt S W 

Ui-Uepoimere W«shinolon. O C 20590 

o( Iconsportatnn 

RMCorchond 
Spcciol Programt 
AdmiriBlration 



MAR 16 1992 



Mr. Robert B. Rackleff 
816 Cherry Street 
Tallahassee. FL 32303 

Dear Mr. RackJeff: 

Thank you for your January 25. 1992, tetter regarding the pollution record of oil 
pipelines. You indicated in your letter that Research and Special Programs 
Administration (RSPA) officials have made statements to the effect that pipelines offer 
the most environmentally compatible method for transporting petroleum. 

in Congressional hearings and various publications, we have characterized pipelines as 
"one of the safest modes of transportation" and have referred to the "excellent gafgty 
record of pipeline transportation." These assertions have been made in relation to 
safety (e.g.. number of fatalities and injuries) and not environmental protection (e.g.. 
number of barrels lost). To my knowledge, no one from RSPA has ever made a claim 
that pipelines offer the most environmentally compatible method for transportation of 
petroleum. 

Historically, the primary focus of the Department of Transportation's pipeline safety 
program has been public safety . Since the March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdez incident 
(which did not involve a pipeline) and the January 1. 1990 Arthur Kill Waterway spill, 
public concern has heightened over the potential environmental impacts of hazardous 
liquid pipeline accidents. The Administration's proposed legislation and other bills to 
reauthorize the pipeline safety program would, in fact, recognize that "protection of the 
environment" is a basis for regulation of hazardous liquid pipelines. Such legislation 
would effectively elevate environmental protection alongside public safety as a major 
program objeaive. 

In line with the new emphasis on environmental protection, we have initiated a number 
of activfties to prevent potential pollution problems associated with hazardous liquid 
pipelines: 



190 



1. We will conduct a multi-year study in which we will define, identify, and 
investigate various types of "environmentally sensitive areas" traversed by 
hazardous liquid pipelines, such as wetlands, navigable waters, and aquifers, 
and determine if it is reasonable to ran;< the areas in order of potential harm 
from pollution by liquids trarvsported. 

2. We will undertake another muW-year study in which we will investigate and 
analyze the various computer-based supervisory control and data acquisition 
(SCADA) systeiTO used to detect leaks in hazardous liquid pipelines to 
determine if any of them are suitable for general application in the pipeline 
industry. The study will also pinpoint areas where further research is needed 
to minimize teak detection time. 

3. We have issued a final rule requiring pipeline operators to conduct underwater 
inspection of pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico and Its inlets located in water less 
than 15 feet deep; report to the U.S. Coast Guard pipelines exposed or 
otherwise a hazard to navigation and mark with a buoy; and bury those 
identified pipelines. 

4. We have begun other prevention-focused regulatory projects related to 
hydrostatic testing of older pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines operated at 20 
percent or less of specified minimum yield strength, and use of internal 
inspection devices. 

5. We have increased the use of hazardous facility orders following hazardous 
liquid accidents to assure that the future operation of the pipeline is safe and 
environmentally sound. 

In response to your request for spill and leak data, we are enclosing a table showing 
the number of hazardous liquid accidents reported to RSPA over the last seven years, 
along with an indication of barrels lost, property damage, deaths, and injuries. 

1 hope this letter clarifies our past statements related to the "pipeline safety record." 
Please be assured that we are grappling with the pollution implications of hazardous 
liquid pipeline accidents. 

Sincerely, 



Travis P. Dungan 




Enclosure 



191 



O 



ReMarchand ADD I 7 1992 

Special Progrom* "^'^ 

Administration 



Mr. Robert B. RackleJf 

816 Cherry Street 

Tallahassee. FL 32303 , 

Dear Mr. Rackleff: 

This letter is in response to your March 22, 1992, correspondence to Travis P. 
Dungan, regarding the environmental soundness of liquid pipelines. We were 
surprised to see the article in Hie Florida Energy Pipeline Association (FEPA) 
newsletter entitled "Pipelines: Safe and Environmentally Sound" attributed to the 
Department of Transportation (DOT). 

We did not recognize the statistics in the article and called the FEPA Executive 
Director to determine the source. He, in turn, referred us to the contributing author 
who, upon checking, acknowledged the statistics were not from DOT but from a 
brochure published by the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL). (Jhe author 
further admitted the article had been inadvertently attributed to DOT.) 

We subsequently verified that the AOPL brochure, "Oil Pipelines of the United 
States: Progress and Outlook." was the source of both the statistics and narrative 
used in the article. We have enclosed a comparison of the article and the AOPL 
brochure. Indeed, in most cases, the statistics and narrative have been lifted 
almost verbatim. To avoid any further confusion, we are requesting the FEPA 
Executive Director to issue a retraction in the next issue of the newsletter. 

With respect to the assertions in the article, we cannot at this time categorically 
confirm or deny them. Since the statistics are not from DOT data bases, we would 
have to undertake a significant amount of validation, analysis, and interpretation to 
arrive at any responsible conclusions. 

Sincerely, 



^' 



SuJ^JL^'T^''^ 



George W. Tenley, Jr. 
Associate Administrator for 
Pipeline Safety 
Enclosure 



192 




REX PIGMON HAD SEEN Oa SPIUS 
on his West Texas ranch before. But 
the one on January 24, 1989, wa> differ- 
ent. The 62-year-old Winkler County 
cattleman ut in hit pickup for a long 
minute, watching the scream of smelly 
crude flow across his land toward the 
road. He thought about getting out for 

by Bebarl Bryc* 



193 




^ pAlloto^krall- 
BaU •ctivtty, 
Ifca caiaiiM- 
•igaadtolb* 
T«MU ■■Ht— it 



•nagaBcf wilb 
• rvpoUdoa 
lor baisg Bor* 
caacaiBad 
about prodac- 
Hob oI oU Umb 
piotodioB 
ol water. 



■ closer look, but the dviger of pouon- 
ous guet and cxploiion made him tuy 
put. He watched the spill for a icw 
- more seconds, then in a torrent of dust 
and flying sand, he wheeled his truck 
around and sped toward the pipeline 
pump sution, about a mile away. 

Butch Higdon, Texaco's pump su- 
tion supervisor, was hurrying out the 
door when Pigmon pulled up. "I don't 
have time to visit," Higdon said impa- 
tiently, heading for his truck. "I'm 
(A~lr.iig hr a pipeline leak." 

**You jun {oftow Bw," aaid the tancb- 
cr. TU take you right to it.'' 

Five minutes later, the tHti aen were 
(utvcying ikc tafudly growing black 
civcr. "Looks like I better get busV," 
Higdon said. With that, he jumped 
back in his truck and sped do«>m the 
bumpy caliche road toward the town of 
Wink, five miles away. Within a few 
hours, three bulldozers, a herd of 
trucks, and two dozen men were ai the 
site, scrambling to contain the thou- 
sands of ga|l"P« of crude draining out 
ol the 20-incb-diametcr Texaco pipe- 
line. The biiUdcoen built levees to con- 
tain the gushing (A. As the dozers 
worked to wall in the spill, two vacuum . 
trucks sucked up the heavy-smelling 
crude. As soon as one truck was full, 
it turned around and headed for the 
row of huge gray oil tanks at the pump 
sution. But there just weren't 
enough trucks to keep up with the ris- 
ing oil. Soon the levees gave way and 
the suUurous oil crept over the arid 
terrain. Before the oil stopped flow- 
ii^ six acres of Pigmon's land -an 
area the size of four and a half foot- 




ball fields-was covered with oil. 

Twenty-four hours after Pigmon 
found the leak, the pipeline w^ still 
draining. T1>e welders and pipe fitters 



waited and watched as the oil occupying 
twenty miles worth of pipe oozed out 
onto Pigmon's property. Finally, 
around noon, the damaged pipe was 
empty. Backhoes dug out the buried 
pipe, and the ruptured section was cut 
out. Seventy-four feet of new pipe were 
laid in place, and by six o'clock that 
evening, the welders were gone. The 
dozers leveled the dikes. The oil that 
couldn't be vacuumed up was covered 
over »nth dirt. That done, the remain- 
ing crew loaded the equipment and 
drove a«iray- leaving a chunk of Pig- 
moo's land oil-soaked and sterile. But 
the rancher didn't know how much oil 
had spilled. No one from Texaco called 
him. So he waited. And when he learned 
two months later that nearly one million 
gallons of crude had leaked onto his 
land and was beginning to contamuute 
his groundwater, he got mad. And when 
Texaco offered him ^1,200 for dam- 
ages, he got a lawyer. 

HAVING POaUTED WATER, A GOOD 
lawyer, and a pending lawsuit against a 
major oil company has become a tradi- 
tion in West Texas; Pigmon is jusi one 
of dozens of landowners fighting oil 
companies, which seem impervious to 
lawsuits and regulations. But this is 
only a modem extension of an ancient 
fight between ranchers and oilmen, one 
that was immortalized in Edna Ferber's 
novel Cunt. Bick Benedict was the no- 
ble rancher who loved the land; Jett 
Rink was the low-life wildcatter who 
plundered the surface to get to what lay 
underneath. Ranchers still see them- 
selves as caretakers of the land, and 
they still beUcve— with good cause— that 
oil operators regard the land only as 
something that stands in the way of 
their objective. Much of the work of 
finding oil in Texas has been performed 
by high-living, free-spirited roughnecks 
who were not the sort to worry about a 
Jittle brine here or a little oil leak there. 
Huge patches of West Texas have be- 
come oil-field deseru, because for years 
the salt water that is a result of oil 
production was released to flow across 
the land, leaving it bare. 

Eventually oil-field carelessness shows 
up in the groundwater. The upper 
reaches of the Colorado River arc being 
polluted with salt water from abandoned 
oil wells. Groundwater near the Odessa 
Petrochemical Complex is contaminat- 
ed with cancer-causing benzene. Texas 
Water Commission investigators be- 
lieve a refinery in the complex is re- 
sponsible for a six-foot layer of benzene 
that hes on top of the local groundwater 
supply. Children in the El Ranchito sub- 
division, a few hundreds yards east of 
the refinery, can't bathe in the water be- 
cause it causes skin rashes. 



rsstUASir 



194 




Chemkals tued during the oil-well 
drilling process often contain highly 
toxic elemenu, such as barium, chromi- 
um, cadmium, and arsenic. Drilling 
muds, corrosion inhibitors, workover 
fluids, and other oil-£eld materials ate 
often dumped into unlined earth piu, 
spread over large areas, or used oo oil- 
field roads for "dusi cootroL" Tlwse 
toxic chemicals, which would be highly 
regulated if they were produced by any 
other industry, are exempt ftom scruti- 
ny m the oil patch. In 1988 the staff of 
the Enviroiunental Protection Agency 
recommended that oil-field waste prod- 
ucu be regulated as hazardous waste. 
However, the staff was overruled by two 
appointees of Ronald Reagan: adminis- 
trator Lee Thomas and assistant admin- 
istrator J. Winston Porter. EPA oft- 
cials have said that it was Porter who 
made the decision oo Ae oD-ficU taste 
designation. At the tiaw il>e Juiiiim 
was made, Ponrr owned as anani in 
two oil and gas wells in New Mciica 

The EPA estimates that about one 
million tons of hazardous waste arc gen- 
erated in American oil fields every year. 
The EPA h^s put seven Texas sites that 
are direcdy related to the production 
and refining of oil and gas on the feder- 
al superftind list. (The Texas Waur 
Commission has put eight other sites 
that are contaminated with oil and gas 



wastes on the sute superftind list.) 

The watchdog for the oil industry in 
Texas is the Texas Railroad Commis- 
sion, an agency frequendy scorned by 
ranchers such as Pigmon for its laissez- 
faire attitude toward the problem of 
groundwater contamiiution. After the 
tiiscovery of oil in East Texas at Spin- 
dlctop in 1901, pipelines were deemed a 
mode of iniersute transportation just 
like the railroads; thus began the Rail- 
road Commission's entry into the busi- 
ness of regulating the oil industry. Over 
the years, the commission has devel- 
oped a repuution for being more con- 
cerned about production of oil than 
protection of water. For decades it has 
looked the other way while oil compa- 
nies have disposed of salt water and 
dangerous chemicals on roads, in wasu 
pin, and in creeks that flow into the 
Gulf of Mexico. Rccendy the U.S. Fok 
and Wildlife Service started prosecut- 
ing oil producers because the piu that 
many of them use to dispose of waste 
oil attract -and kill -hundreds of thou- 
sands of migratory birds every year. 
During the course of their crackdown, 
agents have found hundreds of piu chat 
arc being used to store and dispose of 
tvaste oil. This ( cokhnued on ^aCE hi ] 

Robert Bryet is <n Aiutia fmUttct vriur 
who tpttitliits in ttmromunul itsuti. 



11 from a 
brokan pip*- 
Una satiuatad 
liz acres of Bax 
Pigmon't 
ranch, kUUag 
th* toil and 
grass and con- 
taminating th* 
water. Texaco 
offered SI, 200 
for the dam- 
age— bnt a 
cleanup would 
coft $9 million. 



195 



More Precious 
Than on 



In I9S8 T. G. Herring, a rancher in 
Andrews County, had a water well on hii 
ranch go aalty. Tests on his water pet- 
farmed by the Water Commission indi- 
cated high levels of chloride, sulfate, and 
•T '- sodium -compounds conunonly feuikd in 

( CONTINUED noM PAGE iw ] use of opcn oil-freld brine. Chloride and sodium lev- 
pits was legal until 1969, when the Rail- els in the water were nearly 12,000 parts 
roid Commission finally adopted the "no per million -48 times greater than fed- 
pit rult." «"1 drinking water standards. The Water 

Despite numerous complainu about Commission deemed the contamination 
the Railroad CacnmiSSMMi's Uck of cavi- to b* oil-field related and turned it over 
roiuacniaJ concern, the ^raCT remains to the Railroad Commission. Despite the 
the sole atWci ■ cmks ^ wbieh wasi Water Com m i ss ion's findmgs, ilie Rail- 
has been contaminMed br aal-fcaU actiri- road Cooanission determined the water 
ty. Numerous landowners have appealed was contaminated by "natural causes." In 
to the Texas Water Commission hr help, the report, the investigator blamed die 
but if its tesu detertmne the pollution is high sulfate levels in the water o^ sulfur 
coming from oil-field activity, the Water mining. The closest sulfur mine to Het- 
Commission can only turn the case back ring's ranch was sixty miles away. The 
to the Railroad Commission. And even if closest oil well was just six hundred feet 
the Railroad Commission wanted to pur- north. 

sue each contamination case, it doesn't The methods used by Railroad Com- 
havt the resources to do it. In 1989, mission investigators are as suspect as 
f II.) million was allotted for enforce- ihcu findings. While testing Glenda Kik- 
ment of state laws that govern Texas' er's water m West Odessa, an investiga- 
second-largcst industry-not just poUu- tor from the Midland office tied a string 
tion laws but everything from drilling to a dirty coffee cup to sample the con- 
permits to oil-field trucking. The City of ta m ma t e d wcfl fee bacteria-despite the 
Austin spends more money eadi year on (*a that smile bailers and containers are 
parks and recreation-about fl6 million essential for proper resulu. When she 
-than the Oil and Gas Division of the saw her well being tested with a coffee 
Railroad ComimssioD spends regulating cup, Kiker became furious. "I could see 
the ot! mdusny m Texas. About 5 per- the coffee grounds in the bonom of the 
cenc-?1.02 billion-of the ^21 billion cup. What were they going to find-that 
1989 state budget came from taxes the my ivater's high in caffeine?" 
state collects on oil and gas. However, How many cases of oil-field pollution 
the state spends only .000) percem of has the Railroad Commission uncovered 
its annual budget to police the oil in- in the Permian Basin? Mark Ehrbch, the 
dustry-an industry that sold more than complaint coordinator from the Midland 
917 billion worth of oil and gas ia I9B8. office, says, "I haven't found one case 
In effect, oil-field pollution is viztual- where groundwater has been cootaminat- 
ly unregulated. cd by oil and gas activity in this region." 

As fr>r his use of the coffee cup, EhrUch 

W.ATER HAS LONG BEEN MORE says, "There is no difference between 
valuable m West Texas than oil. testing %vith a sterile bailer and testing 
During the thirties after a boom in the with a coffee cup"-a claim that Water 
small t«>wn of McCamey, a barrel of Commission invesugaiors greeted with a 
watei cost a dollar. A barrel of oil chorus of derisive laughter, 
brought five cents. Last summer in Mid- 
land, before Iraq invaded Kuwait, water ^ FTER ABOUT RDUR YEARS AS A 
was still more expensive than oil. The ^% professional rodeo cowboy in the 
price of 42 gallons of crude oil-OBe forties. Rex Pigmon returned to the 
barrel -hovered around ^7. TWc price ranch that was homesteaded a ccouty 
of 42 gallons of groundwater, based on ago by his grand^ther Bill Vest. De- 
the prevailing cost of SO cena a gallon, cades of working long hours on horse- 
was $21. back in the hot sun have left Pigmon's 
Half of aU Texaas rely on ground- arms and face a deep reddish-brown. A 
water In West Texas the percentage is heavy-set, quiet man, Pigmon doesn't 
much higher. In Winkler County, tvhere waste words. He doesn't like discussing 
Rex Pigmon Lves, over 90 percent of all the spill or dealing with the lawyers and 
residents use well water. But in doieiu of engineers who are investigating the meu. 
groundwater contamination cases, Rail- If he had his druthers, he would just go 
road Commission investigators from the quiedy about his business, tending the 
Midland office have blamed improperly eight hundred cattle that roam the sparse 
cased water wells, fertilizer runoff, and grassland. But Pigmon has seen the 
septic tank leaks for waur polluaon asphaltlike scars left by leaking tanks and 
problems. They have seldom blamed oil pipelines. These leaks kill the soil and 
production. the grass. [ CONTINUED ON PAGE is> ] 



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196 



I COKTIMUED HiOM PACE Ml ] And in a dry 
region where each cow needs iky or 
more acres of browse just <io uuvive, 
every little bi^counu. * 

Lying in the,^iddle of the oil field that 
caused a boom in the town of Wtnlc dur- 
ing the twenties, the 38-square-mile Vest 
Ranch has been explored for oil for six 
decades. Some four hundred active wells 
produce oil ami f^ on the ranch, and it 
bears lite scars. Abeadoned weils, barren 
drilling sites contairuiutr<) Mii UMoc 
heavy metals, and rusting etjuipmcac fit- 
ter the landscape. Hof moc^ royalty in- 
come does Pigmoo get &otn the oil 
pumped from bcneadi his land? PigoKO 
chuckles. "None," he says. "My grand- 
dad sold all the minerals in 1918. We only 
get money for surface damage." 

Though he has worked' around the oil 
industry all his life, none of his experi- 
ences picpaicd him for the trouble that 
began the day he discovered the Texaco 
pipeline break. Two months after the 
spill, when he hadn't heard anyiKmgfrcun 
Texaco Pipeline or the Railroad Commit- 
sion, Pigmon decided to find out for Kim- 
self what had happened. He looked up 
commission records, which indicated that 
on January 2i, 1989- the day after the 
spill -Texaco Pipeline notified the Rail- 
road Commission office in Midland that 
3,200 barrels of oil had leaked from the 
pipeline and that 2,700 barrels had been 
recovered. Accepting Texaco's version, 
the initial Railroad Commission report 
filed Monday, February 6, reads, "Oper- 
ator cleaned up spill and replaced line. 
Oil spill aifected about % mile of land by 
100 yards wide." The following day, 
however, Wayne McClung, a field super- 
visor from the Midland office, went to 
the Vest Ranch. He surveyed the spill 
site and wrote, "Tliree feet of sand in low 
area oil soaked. Loss -23,) 34 barrels. 
Recovered- 5,849, Net loss-17,685." 
Neither report was even dose to accu- 
rate. The leak Texaco had originally 
described as only 500 unrecovcred bar- 
rels of oil turned out to be £ar worse. 
Nearly 20,000 barrels -about 750,000 
gallons— of crude oil had soaked into the 
soil on Pigmon's ranch and no one knew 
about it. None of the local papers carried 
the story. This was not like an oil slick 
at sea-no dead tea lions or oil-coated 
birds to be rescued— it was ju*t a big 
greasy spot in the sandy West Texas ioiL 
For six months after the spill. Railroad 
Commission investigators monitored how 
much oil had saturated the soil. Tliey 
dug holes to see how much oil was flow- 
uig beneath the surface. When oil stopped 
flowing into (he holes, they determined 
that the investigation was finished, filled 
in the holes, and closed the case. 

The final field report on the spill was 
filed July 6 by Mark Ehrlich from the 
Midland office. Ehrlich's report reads, 



"Mr. Pigmon suted that Texaco offered 
^100 an acre for the six acres damaged, 
and that for being such a cooperative guy 
they would pay him total of fl,200 for 
damage. Rex refiised the offer to him, be- 
cause be doesn't know the long-term 
effect of the spill and (hat to him his land 
damage is about ^250,000. . . . Texaco 
has not been very cooperative in conuct- 
ing him about what is occurring on status 
of spill or (he settlement. Rex would ap- 
prcoatt all ibe help we could offer to 
ke^ka.- 

E^Hcli «as right. Pigmon needed Uik. 
But the Railroad Commission wasn't gi>- 
ing to give him any, and neither was Tex- 
aco. By July, Pigmon kad found abother 
commission report on the spiB in<ftuig^ 
tion. Dated June 28, it said, 'K>n June 1, 
1989, no more oil was seen within the 
monitor holes and it was decided that 
these holes should now be closed. Mr. 
Pigmon expressed satisfaction since there 
was no evidence of oil in the monitoring 
holes. The spill in question is underlaid 
by a very iiard caliche layer and is not be- 
lieved to be a threat to groundwater sup- 
plies. ... As Mr. Pigmon appeared sat- 
isfied with the effbru, wc believe no 
fijrther action is liecessary as this timt." 
Pigmon laughs when he reads the report. 
"I never expressed any satisfaction to 
these people," he says. "Tliey are just 
trying to weasel out of this thing." 

Contrary to the commission's findings, 
the spill hadn't gone away, and it was be- 
ginning to cause groundwater problems. 
A monitor well dug by Petro-Global 
Consultanu, a Midland engineering firm, 
showed that two dangerous constituenu 
of crude oil— benzene and toluene— were 
showing up in the shallow water ubie six- 
ty feet below the surface. Petro-Global 
also gave Pigmon a rude shock when its 
consultanu estimated that the cost of 
a complete cleanup on the site would be 
f9 million. The ^1,200 offered by Texaco 
wouldn't be enough to buy fuel for all the 
trucks and heavy equipment needed to 
remove the thousands of cubic yards of 
contaminated soil. 

TWO DAYS AFTER THE SPUi, UN- 
known to Pigmon, Chevron had 
hired Martin Water Labs in Midland to 
test a sample of fresh water iltawn from 
one of Pigmon's wells. The test wasn't 
being 6oot out of concern fer Pigmon's 
water resource*-, it was being done to de- 
termine if Chevron could use Pigmon's 
fresh water for waterflooding an oil well 
on the Vest Ranch. 

As oil wells get older and their produc- 
tivity decreases, oil producers inject wa- 
ur tmder pressure to force more oil to 
the sur&ce-an activity called secondary 
recovery. And though some companies 
use the salt water that is produced during 
oJ production for waterflooding, many 



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prefer to use 6cib water. Unlike (alt 
water, which ii high in diuoivcd solids, 
fttA water doesn't clog pipe* and pump- 
ing equipment. * 

Nothing nukes West Texas ranchers 
and fanners madder than the use of fresh 
%yater far wattt^ooding an oil well, and it 
doesn't take them long to tell you why. 
Even if a fermer irrigates his crops on the 
honest day of the year at high noon, the 
water SLsys in the wcadicr system. If it 
cvaponnt, b later ibrau clouds and 
comet back in the form of tain. Bat if 
that same 6cah water is m fva ti mao the 
ground fot tmrnitty recovcey, it's gooc 
forever. Pennanesnir po&uted, it «nU stay 
in the oil cavity for coos, newer lo be 
useful again. In Texas io 1974, almost a 
billion barrels of ircsh water were used 
for secondary recovery. In 19S1, the last 
year for which accurate records are avail- 
able, 600 million barrels of fresh water- 
enough to supply the city of San Angelo 
for nearly three and a half years-were 
flushed down oil wells. And ndule the 
Railroad Comimssion says it discouxagcs 
the practice, randiers like Pigmon are 
finding that oil producers are still using 
copious amounu of firesh water for sec- 
ondary recovery. 

Walter Bertsch has ivorked for die Soil 
Conservation Service in West Texas for 
}1 years and is now based in the small 
Gaines Counry oil-aod-cottoo town of 
Seramole, eighty miles southwest of Lub- 
bock. He has seen hundreds of water 
wells drilled to provide fresh water for 
secondary recovery. In Gaines County 
alone, about 1} million barrels of freih 
water a year are used for secondary tc- 
covery. More than 1,400 wells in eight 
West Texas counties -Winkler, Ward, 
Andrews, Gaiiws, Crane, Ector, Mid- 
land, and Martin— are currently using 
fresh water for secondary recovery. 
Three of the eight counties-Midland, 
Ward, and Wmklet-have been designat- 
ed critical waur tones by the Texas 
Water Commission because of declines in 
the water taUe and subsequent short- 
ages. Four more counties-Ector, 
Gaines, Andretvs, and Crane-may soon 
be added to the critical water xone list. 
Despite declining freshwater resources, 
an antiquated law called right of capture 
governs groundwater usage in Texas. 
Based on English conuaon law, it allows 
landowBCTS to pump as much water as 
diey warn from under their land. Up un- 
til the twenties, the law also applied to oil 
underground. In those early days, oil 
wells were crowded close together and 
well owners competed to pump as much 
oil, as fast as they could, from the same 
pool. Since this deplcttd the reservoir 
needlessly, producers decided to appor- 
tion the production from a single oil field 
to the various owners. Unfortunately, 
this idea doesn't apply to groundwater. 



Companies can buy land or water righu 
and pump as much u they like-regard- 
less of the needs of neighboring ranchers 
and frrmers who share the aquifer. 

Bensch thinks the use of fresh water 
for secondary recovery could be the 
death of agriculture in West Texas, 
"niiere ivill still be people wanting to live 
here afrer the oil is gone. And if there's 
no fresh water, this area will dry up." 

Pigmon still fiunes when he thinks 
about Chevron's attempt to use fresh 
water for secondary recovery. The appli- 
cation Chevron filed with the Railroad 
Com million shows that the company 
planned to use 600 barrels of water a day 
to recover 37 barrels of oA. In other 
words, for each barrel of oil produced, 16 
barrels of %vaur tvould be permanently 
lost. Although Pigmon talked to Chev- 
ron represcnatives and was able to per- 
suade them not to use (he water, he is 
infuriated about the attempt- particularly 
because it happened so soon after Texa- 
co's pipeline spill. 

"^Y uncle Earl Vest fisught the oil ' 
companies all his life," says Pigmon, 
"and I have fought them for most of my 
lifr too. These oil companies think us 
ranchmg people are kind of stupid coun- 
try hicks that don't know anything, fiut 
we put a stop to them using fresh water 
on that project damn quick. I wasn't 
about to let them waste my fresh water." 

Pigmon figures more than a thousand 
oil and gas wells have been drilled on his 
ranch over the years. Some of them came 
in; most did not. Those operators «4io 
lost, Pigmon says, packed up their tools, 
threw their garbage down the deep, nar- 
row hole that they thought would make 
them rich, and moved on. 

Little did the old wildcatters know that 
the holes they were leaving across the 
state would cause so much concern to- 
day. Reaching thousands of feet into the 
earth, oil wells are essentially long verti- 
cal pipelines that allow oil to flow or be 
pumped to the surface. Very often, oil- 
bearing tones also have large saltwater 
formations in the vicinity. To prevent the 
deep salt water from traveling upward 
into freshwater aquifers near the surface, 
a well must be plugged «nth cement after 
it is shut down or if it contains no oil. 

But of the l.t million oil wells drilled 
n Texas, approximately one million are 
left unplugged. Unplugged weOs are par- 
ticulaiiy dangerous in the region around 
San Aiigelo because of the Coleman 
Junction, a highly pressurized saltwater 
formation that underlies the area. When 
oil iwclls are drilled through the Coleman 
Junction, the highly corrosive salt water 
begins to eat away at the steel pipe that 
lines the well. If the well isn't properly 
plugged, the salt water eventually eats 
through the pipe and flows to the sur&ce. 
One unplugged well, near the town of 



Rowena, northeast of San Angelo, 
spewed millions of gallons of salt water 
into the Colorado River for decades until 
■c was plugged in the mid-sixties by the 
Railroad Commission. 

A FEW MILES EAST OF. ROWENA. 
Runnels County farmer Ralph 
Hoclscher looks at the salt crystals lying 
atop the powdery soil that used to grow 
cotton and says, "My father-in-law 
worked this piece of land his whole life. 
And his fethcr before him. This old soil 
is so salty now it won't even grow grass." 
Pointing to a nearby rise, the soft-spoken 
farmer explains, "There has to be an un- 
plugged well right around here." 

Few people know more about un- 
plugged oil wells in West Texas than 
Ralph Hoelscher. A self-educated expert 
on the problem, Hoelscher has been on 
a one-man crusade for ten years. He 
even ran for railroad commissioner a few 
years ago, losing narrowly to another 
Republican candidate, Jun Nugent, in 
the primary. When he is not tcndmg his 
crops of milo and grain sorghum, Hoel- 
scher is talking to other farmers and to 
anyone else who will listen about the 
danger of unplugged wells. In Runnels 
County alone, Hoelscher has found 
about one hundred unplugged wells. In 
neighboring Tom Green County, he has 
been worlong with Wayne Farrell, the 
director of the Tom Green Counry 
Health Department, to locate unplugged 
%vells around San Angelo that are fouling 
the drinking-water supply. One was un- 
derneath the main street through town; 
two more ivere below O. C. Fisher Lake, 
tvhich flows into the Colorado River. 

Two reasoiu why so many wells in the 
sate haven't been plugged are the lack of 
enforcement by the Railroad Commission 
and carelessneu on the part of the oil 
operators. Almost a century ago, the 
state Legislature mandated that aban- 
doned wells be plugged. The Texas 
House of Represenutives approved a 
rule in 1899 requirmg operators aban- 
doning a well to "securely fill such well 
«nth rock, sediment or with morur com- 
posed of two paru sand and one part ce- 
ment or other suiuble material to the 
depth of two hundred fret above the top 
of the first oil and gas bearing rock." In 
1919 another law was passed that gave the 
Railroad Commission authonty to en- 
force well-plugging. Despite these and 
other laws, thousands of operators simply 
lefr well holes open. Operators drilling 
on shoestring budgets had little incentive 
to spend more money on dry holes, espe- 
cially when they knew that the Railroad 
Commission was unlikely to catch them. 
Tlie penalties for not plugging wells were 
not severe and many operators declared 
bankruptcy to avoid liability. Compound- 
ing the problem of unplugged wells are 



198 



inaccurate Railroad Commission records. 
Hoelscher and Tom Green County 
health inspector David Hale<iook me to 
numerous oil wells that h^ never beep 
plugged— des^tc commission records 
thai said they had been. 

I.S' LATE 1990 THINGS BEGAN CHANG- 
ing at the Texas Railroad Commiasion. 
New commissioner Bob Krueger ran tel- 
evision spots durmg the November eiec- 
rjon thar emphaiized the environment. 
Lena Guernro, as Austm IcgisUtor ap- 
pomted to the commissioirby Gcwcxao* 
Ann Richards, has a hiuory of ci m i i u u - 
mental aaivism. The staff of the Oil aiu) 
Gas Division has also been s^ukcn u^ 
Jim Morrow, the former bead of the divi- 
sion, and Willis Steed, the former head 
of regulatory enforcement, have been 
replaced. After numerous complaints 
from the Martin County Underground 
Water Conservation District about an ex- 
tensive saltwater leak that was ignored 
by the Railroad Commission, Ronald 
Strong, the director of the commission's 
district oftce in Midland, was fired. 
Strong's second in command. Hank 
Krusekopf, was demoted. Citing docu- 
ments received under the Texas Open 
Records Act, Hank Murphy of the Lui- 
hock Avalanche-Journal reported last sum- 
mer that some of the workers in the Mid- 
land Acid ofiice were accepting gratuities 
in the form of turkeys and hams from oil 
companies 

The new head of the Oil and Gas Divi- 
sion, David Garlick, told me that a new- 
era of cooperation and vigilance has be- 
gun at the Railroad Commission. Even if 
Garlick can overhaul his division, the 101 
field investigators spread among ten dis- 
trict oAces face an industry of over- 
whelmmg size; }60,000 oil and gas wells 
are currently operating in the nau— not 
to mtntion pipelines and abandoned wells 
— that should be checked periodically by 
commission investigators. The Midland 
oAce of the Railroad Commission may 
be the worst in terms of manpower. With 
more than 40,000 wells in the district, 
the office has only 9 full-time field 
inspectors. 

The field oAces are also responsible 
for regulating 364 natural-gas processing 
plants, thousaitds of miles of pipeline, 
and thousands of waste pits. Intidtti at 
the Railroad Commission acknowinige 
that they are understaffed', oise who rc- 
ijuesied aaeeiymiiy said, "We could use 
five times as many field techniciaiu as we 
have. And they would be busy all the 
time." Garlick himself believes an in- 
crease of ^7 to jlO million is needed to 
properly regulate the industry. 

Former railroad commiuioner Kent 
Hance agrees that the division needs 
more employees, but he believes a 10 per- 
cent increase in the budget will be 



enough. "I think we do a great job," 
Hance said. "We could improve, but it 
becomes a question of money and wheth- 
er the Legislature would give us that kind 
of money." Fining operators that violate 
Railroad Commission rules could add 
money to the coffers, but the commis- 
sioners have shown extreme reluctance to 
levy Urge fines to get compliance from 
the industry. One of the highest fines 
ever levied by the Railroad Commission 
was ^0,000 against Clinton Manges and 
tiie Duval County Ranch Corporation in 
I9ft4 iui not pkuggutg several abandoned 
wells. Compared to those of the Texas 
Water Commijsion, the Railroad Com- 
miuionH fines arc minuscule. When the 
City of Houston violated wastewaller reg- 
ulations a few years ago, the Water Com- 
mission slapped the city with a fine of 
9^00,000. Last spring the Watet Com- 
mission levied a ^244,060 fine against 
Formosa Plasties fi>r wastewater viola- 
tions at the company's Point Comfon 
facility. 

DESPITE PERSONNEL CHANGES AT 
the RaJroad Commission, land- 
owners—including Pigmon and Hoel- 
scher— are still skeptical. And farmers 
aisd ranchers share a common sentiment: 
Having the commission watch over the 
oil industry is like having the fox guard 
the henhouse; landowners simply don't 



trust the commission to do anything that 
will harm the most powerful industry in 
the state. While the oil mdustry has en- 
riched the state treasury, the University 
of Texas, and many individual Texans, a 
legacy of the oil busmess — contaminated 
groundwater -will last long after the oil 
and the money have run out. 

Pigmon's white-faced Hereford cattle 
still drink the water brought up by wind- 
mills near the pipeline spill sue. It is al- 
ready too salty for humans to drink, and 
Pigmon figures even the cattle will soon 
quit. Wells that yielded ftesh, clear water 
when he was a boy are now fouled with 
salt water and other oil by-products. To 
stay in the cattle business, Pigmon will 
have to drill a dozen new water wells, all 
of them at least 3)0 feet deep. At a cost 
of jlO a foot, the rancher figures he'll 
have to spend ^3^,000 to reach the last 
remaining pocket of uncontaminated 
fresh water imder his ranch. As for the 
lawsuit, Pigmon shrugs and says, "The 
lawyer told me he was going to take care 
of it, to Fm going to let him." 

Pigmon doesn't have much to offer 
when asked how he would change the 
Railroad Commission or the oil industry. 
Taking off his hat, he wipes the sweat 
from his face. "You know, I don't know. 
But something has got to change -that's 
for damn sure. 'Cause without good 
water, Vm out of business. "♦ 



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200 



■A-22 /Th* Houllon Poil/Sundoy, Moy 23. 1993 ♦♦ 

PIPELINES: Leaks posing 
untold environmental perils 



petroleum products that some- 
times spew in torrents and some- 
times seep imperceptibiy from 
the nation's vast and aging infra- 
structure o! pipelin«s 
and storage tanks. 

A six-month examination d 
stale, federal and induilr) re- 
cords by The Houston Post shows 
liquid pipelines and petroleum 
slorage tanks leak the equivalent 
of several Exxon Valdezes each 
year, causing billions of dollars 
in damage. 

As a rule, pipelines and stor- 
age tank spills do not often result 
in human tragedies such as the 
San Bernardino fire or the explo- 
sion of a liquid petroleum gas fa- 
cility in Brenham last year that 
killed three people From this 
perspective, the nation s 225.000 
miles of pipelines that account 
for a staggering 578 billion ton- 
miles, and the 2,400 major tank 
facilities storing virtually the en- 
tire petroleum needs of the coun- 
try, are safe 

But out of this record has come 
a misconception that industry 
and even government officials 
have done little to correct, that 
pipelines and siorage tanks are 
efficient and environmentally be- 
nign 

In fact, pipelines spill much 
■ more than the other principal 
bulk petroleum transportation 
method — tankers and barges. 
And storage unks account for 
most of the largest spills in VS. 
hist or)' 

Among the facts that bear this 
out 

■ Pipelines report spilling 
224,254.544 million gallons of oil. 
gasoline, kerosene and other 
products o\er the last two dec- 
ades At an annual rate of about 
113 million gallons, they spill 
more than an Exxon Valdez — 
the oil tanker thai dumped 10 8 
million gallons of crude oil into 
Alaska's Prince 'Mlliam Sound in 
1989 — each t-ar They spill 
more than twic-, the 4.6 million 
gallons tanker': nd barges spill 
annually 

■ As a resu f the lifting of 
liability caps 01 larine spills af- 
ter the Exxon \ ^Idez. tanker and 
barge operators have considera- 
bly improved their record, while 
n.no'ire fiprra'nrs — whn cannot 



not as an environmental one 

In fact, neither gather Dor dis- 
seminate any data on environ- 
mental damage by spills. Many 
property owners and local gov- 
ernments aroond the country 
consider the OPS Jo be an imped- 
■nent to recovering liamages. 

But more than the absence of 
mat/i federal oversight, it is the 
lack oi sensationalism behind 
pipeline and storage tank spills 
thai prevents them from garner- 
ing attention, say a variety of 
sources Compared to a tanker 
breaking up on the coast of Scot- 
land, or even a barge run 
aground on the Mississippi River, 
they are not compelling to those 
not directly affected. 

"When a pipeline or tank farm 
leaks, about tbe best you can see 
IS a grease spot on tbe ground, 
and It just isa t good televisioo," 
says Bob RacklefJ, a Florida ac- 
tivist fighting the addition of a 
pipeline and tank farm in his 
community. 

Tbe power of pictures in the 
E»xon Valdez spill helped create 
a flurry of major actions in Con- 
gress — the enactment of double- 
hulled tanker legislation, the cre- 
ation of a 16-ship rapid response 
unit, the lifting of liability caps 
on damages caused by spills, and 
the indefinite postponement of oil 
and gas exploration in Alaska's 
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

In contrast, the few people 
hoping to make a cause out of 
pipeline and storage tank spills 
have not gotten their message on 
television and have been largely 
Ignored in Washington Even en- 
vironmental groups — never shy 
of a good fight with big oil com- 
panies — have not been particu- 
larly responsive. 

"It just seems they're not in- 
terested in tbese things," says 
Michele Grumet, a pipeline ac- 
tivist in California "It's not real- 
ly dramatic, its not like save the 
whales, or a tanker." 

Tracing its history 

A good bit of what passes 
through San Bernardino starts at 
a refinery in El Segundo. an in- 
dustrial community on the Pacif- 
ic Ocean in the shadow of the Los 
Angeles International Airport. 

If there were any doubt about 
the size and scope of pipeline and 
•:'r>raee tank farm pollution it 



HOW MUCH 




WE LOSE 




Here are the losses (in 


gallons) horn pipeline and 


tanker/barge spills reported 


in trie United States from 


1973 through 1992 


" 




TANKER/ 


PIPEUNE 


BARGE 


«AR SPtOS 


SPILLS 


1973 15.727,404 


4,404,390 


1974 12.127,962 


3,535,385 


1S75 13.3)2.«14 


11^96,669 


1976 10.060 722 


11,018.486 


1977 8.403,338 


1,769202 


1978 11,779.530 


3,569,819 


1979 22,900^48 


3,352,052 


1980 ti005i38 


3,335.011 


ISei 8.S88,S22 


5J69100 


1982 9.214,926 


3,366,433 


1983 16,020,942 


1553,673 


1984 12,008,010 


7,152,367 


1985 7,065.702 


4,417,032 


1986 11,756,850 


3.301,437 


1987 15^1.634 


2222,546. 


1988 9.089,640 


4,034,490 


1989 8,4S2;j76 


12,126^58 


1990 5,206,656 


5,857,070 


1991 9,196,530 


338235" 


1992 4,997,990 


191,458 


TOTAL 224,254,544 


92.611.113 


Sourc* Offict o< P«>eur« S*l«y. | 


u S Coast Gu*n: 


1 



The Houston Post 

the very cutting edge of this kind 
of technology," says Spackman. 

But even with tbe aid of high 
technology and lots of money, for 
the foreseeable future the goal is 
not to clean op the spill, but 
merely to contain it. At a mini- 
mum, experts say, it will take 10 
to 15 years before any significant 
percentage of pollution is actual- 
ly removed from the groundwa- 
ter. 

Even then there is consider- 
able doubt as to bow successful 
Chevron can be in permanently 
cleaning up the site. Groundwa- 
ter never has been totally 
cleaned up on any significant 
scale and even the most optimis- 
tic forecasts have the company 
successfully removing 70 percent 
of the contamination 

"Most people realize they don't 
expect to remove all the con- 
tamination," says Tom Kelly, an 
environmental engineer with the 
EPA's California office "That's 
not a realistic goal" 

To make matters worse, the 
soil under the El Segundo refin- 
ery is "smeared" with oil as the 
changes in tides raise and lower 



HL&P: Says 

From A- 1 

overturned and remanded 
commission 

"We don't have any i 
power plants under constr 
for the first time since 
War II — it IS really a i 
situation," said Graham P, 
HLiP spokesman "That i; 
is driving our present su 
not because the regulator; 
overly generous during oi 
rate hike hearing" 

The two-year freeze Wi 
of a negotiated settli 
among HL&P, the city of 
ton and 42 cities that pav 
way for approval of tbt 
1991 hike 

The settlement was 
longed, however, by the Of 
Public Utility Cou.-,3el, at 
pendent state-funded offn 
represents small busine^ 
residential ratepayers on 
of tbe sute. Tbe settleme 
upheld at the district com 
and is pending before the 
of Appeals for the 3rd Dis 
Austin. 

OPUC appealed the ra 
on grounds the PUC "is 
ratepayers to pay excessi 
just and unreasonable ra 
HL&P's service." 

HL&P officials, includi 
Hogan. group vice presid 
external affairs, recentl 
that the outcome of thi 
school financing issue c 
with a possible energy ta> 
on British thermal unit ' 
will be determining fact 
whether the company dec 
seek a rate hike soon. 

But Painter said. "No o 
here is feverishly prep, 
rate hike filing " Such i 
typically takes a few mc 
prepare and is based on 
year that must begin and 
a quarterly basis 

Luis Wilmont. public 
for OPUC. said the ene; 
issue IS all smoke," bees 
tax will likely be added c 
top of electric bills and ■ 
increase HLiP's operatin 

Painter said if the lax 
ied. HLiP would favor : 
"simple and clear." for ■ 
ers to see on each mom 
how much they are payini 
eral energy taxes 

If inflation. Houston's ■ 
ic growth rate, federal 



201 



biy Improved their'record. wlule 
pipeline operators — who cannot 
even be sued while the federal 
governrnent is involved — have 
not As a resuUj^in 1991 and 1992 
pipelines reported spilling 29 
times more than did tanker and 
barges 

_ ■ The actual number and siie 
of pipeline spills are likely to be 
considerably larger than report- 
ed because pipebnes classified as 
rural gathering lines w pipelines 
operating at oi below 10 percent 
capacity are unregulated an4 io 
not show up OD yearly spill totals 
compiled by the federal Office of 

• Pipeline Safely. Some of the 
■largest spills in the last five 
years fall into these two catego- 
ries 

■ In a recent survey by the 
American Petroleum Institute, 
70 percent of refineries and 39 
percent of local distribution tank 
"farms reported cleaning up from 
one or more spills from above 
ground petroleum storage tanks. 

;_ ■ Many leaks, particularly 
-■• those from storage Unks at ma- 
jor refineries, have been going on 
."for decades and are estimated in 
"ahe tens of millions of gallons At 
least one slow leak in California 
^is estimated in the hundreds of 
,;;nillions of gallons 

Spills from pipelines and slor- 
-.age tanks have polluted ground 
-and surface water, sometimes 
..shutting down water systems 
temporarily or permanently. 
Thev have polluted major waler- 
;^ way's, such as the Arthur Kill wa- 
'terwav running between New 
Jersey and New York s Staten Is- 
land, as well as creeks and wet- 
lands 

They have devalued property 
by jO percent and more And in 
some cases have forced people to 
abandon their homes, businesses 
and even schools as toxic and 
flammable fumes have seeped 
into basements 

Despite all this pipelines and 
storage tanks go largely unno- 
ticed while even minor tanker 
and barge spills often gamer na- 
tional attention 

In part, th;s may stem from 
relatively lillle oversight from 
the federal and state govern- 
ment The Environmental Pro- 
tection Agency regulates above- 
• ground storage tanks only in as 
much as they might cause "cata- 
, slrophic' leaks Pipelines are po- 
liced by 24 federal agents that 
have 18 million miles to cover 

Both the OPS and the Texas 
Railroad Commission have his- 
torically monitored pipelines 



the size and scope of pipeline and 
storage tank farm pollution it 
ends here. Under the complex of 
more than 200 Unks and hun- 
dreds of miles of pipeline is a 
plume of various refined prod- 
ucts that Chevron estimates at 
somewhere between eight and 23 
times the size of the Exxon Val- 
dez spill. 

Based on the types of fuels 
found in the ground — high sulfur 
diesels and gasolines, beating oil 
aad keiosene grades that have 
not been sold m America since 
early in this century — Chevron 
tas concluded tlie spill could go 
back as far as the plant's 82year 
history 

"It's not stuff we were making 
yesterday by any stretch," says 
Chevron spokesman Rod Spack- 
man. "This problem has been 
with us for a very, very long 
time" 

The problem first appeared in 
the late 1970s, when petroleum 
products starved showing up in 
tidal pools in Uie Pacific Ocean. 
In the mid-1980s, the community 
around the refinery started 
smelling fumes from the ground. 
Fortunately there are two fac- 
tors working to keep what is 
probably the largest spill in U.S. 
history from causing major near- 
term environmental devastation 
First, the three aquifers under 
the site are not used for local 
drinking water and do not feed 
water to the surface And second. 
Chevron has mounted an enor- 
mous containment and cleanup 
effort 

Already the company has 
spent between $200 million and 
J300 million and may spend that 
again in years to come Engi- 
neers have put new bottoms on 
130 above-ground tanks and have 
uncovered all of the refinery's 
piping and have retrofitted much 
of it 

They have developed a sophis- 
ticated computer model to study 
the earths topography and have 
dug hundreds of wells for a va- 
riety of purposes 

There are wells that extract 
vapors. There are wells that do 
nothing but monitor the outward 
extent of the plume 

There are wells that pump out 
pollution There are wells that 
pump out water, in an attempt to 
make the pollution flow toward 
the pollution pumps And finally 
there are wells lined up along the 
beach that pump in water to keep 
the pollution from going into the 
Pacific and other unwanted di- 
rections 



"eryis "8m«»rea- wiui «ni ■■ *n« ■; 
changes in tides raise and lower 
the water Uble and all of its pol- 
lutants. Talks between Chevron 
and local environmenul authori- 
ties on what to do with the soil 
are begiiming 
Fear of disaster 

Back in San Bernardino, the 
problem is not long-term pollu- 
tion but a lingering fear that dis- 
aster might strike again 

As it turns out, the pipeline ex- 
plosion was not caused by some 
freak occurrence, or some long- 
standing problem with the pipe- 
Ijne. but by a tragic accident that 
happened 10 days before the ex- 
plosion.' 

Behind the story of the San 
Bernardino pipeline is what may 
be the best example of the short- 
comings of the Office of Pipeline 
Safety. 

OPS officials were on site and 
watched as rescue workers 
dragged the scrap metal tha^ 
was once a freight train from the 
side of a track Under which lay 
the submerged pipeline. 

The derailment- itself caused 
the death of three people and in- 
jured another 11 as the train ca- 
reened out of control on a sharp 
curve at the bottom of a hill. 

As the accident was cleaned 
up, heavy equipment rumbled 
over the pipeline picking up 
pieces of metal, in some cases 
digging them up. When the work 
was done, the OPS went home 
and ordered the resumption of 
service in the line over the objec- 
tion of local officials The pipe- 
line had been inspected in a few 
select points only, and no effort 
was made to see il the excavat- 
ing equipment could have dam- 
aged the line. 

"Their attitude seemed cava- 
lier to say the least," said city 
attorney James Penman "l 
would hope they learned some- 
thing from the experience" 

The city certainly learned 
something 11 Penman could do it 
over he says he would declare the 
area a crime scene, close it off 
and press negligent homicide 
charges. 

Monday Regulation, or a cozy 
relaUonship^ 



Inu 
Thene 

The Family 
deMgned gr 
in.d can )^l 

F-imiiy A*, 
inp plans 2 
li.iljncesar, 
pri lieges. 1 
.iivT waixt- 
nr charge* 
cumulau\-e 
requiremcn 
niei Youll 
coupon bu 
financial dr 
and other s 
V an adde 
convenienc 




202 



A-20 /Th. Moulton Po«l/Sun*>y, Moy J3, 1993 * 



TexaS:was marred by 42 spills! 
over 10,000 gallons last year 



By Dan CARNEr 

POST WASHINGTON BUREAU 

WASHINGTON — Last year, 
there were 42 liquid ptpeliDe and 
storage tank spills of at least 
10,000 gallons in the suie of Tex- 
as. 

From Beaumont to El Paso, 
from the Rio Grande Valley to 
the Panhandle, a total of 2 34 
million gallons of various petro- 
leum products weit spilled, ac- 
cording to documejAs from two 
sources 

The Texas Railroad Commiv 
sion. which monitors only intra- 
state pipelines that begin and end 
within the state, recorded 1 25 
million gallons spilled Oil Spili 
Intelligence Report, an Arling- 
ton, Mass -based company that 
collates documents from several 
federal sources, found another 
11 million gallons from storage 
tanks and pipelines that did not 
show up on the Railroad Com- 
mission's list 

The worst spills were in San 
Patricio County, across the Nue- 
ces Bay from Corpus Christi 
Pipelines operated by Coastal 
States Crude Gathering Co 
spilled three times between Sep- 
tember and December, dumping 
56 1 .792 gallons of jet fuel, butane 
and diesel fuel. (One of the lines 
was leaking again last week 
when The Houston Post inter- 
viewed local officials by tele- 
phone ) 

Big pipeline spills also were 
recorded in Bee County, immedi- 
ately to the north of San Patricio 
County, in Hulchins County in the 
Panhandle and in Wichita Falls 

The biggest tragedy of lb* 
year occurred in Breoham, 
where an explosion of a salt 
dome operating as a storage fa- 
cility for liquid petroleum caused 
the death of three people 

Being the energy capital of the 
United States, Texas has clearly 
had more than its share of pipe- 
line and storage tank leaks But 
for all the spills in the state, the 
Houston area has done remark- 



TEXAS SPiLLS '92 


&( mwim. here ae the 


number of bcxh intrastate and 


inierstaie pipetine-reJaied 


split IP Texas tc 1992 






SPaiAGE I 


MONTH 


NUMBER 


(taHont) 


Jsnuanr 


5 


402,430 


February 


6 


348.362 


Uardi 


7 


398.550 


Apnl 


2 


70.000 


May 


3 


52,000 


I June 


S 


134,000 


Jut» 


6 


237,000 


August 


3 


3e.ooo 


Septembtc 


2 


84,000 


October 


1 


273,000 


MiMBto 








December 


1 


246,000 


TOTAL 


42 


2i»1.M4 


Here are the number of 


pipeline-related spills for the 


past five 


years (Of facilities | 


trial begi 
1 


land end 


in Texas 
SHLLAGE 


YEAR 


NtmBBn 


totHon) 


1968 
1989 


u 


776,000 


i 


552.000 


1990 


23 


. 361,000 


1991 


13 


1,030.000 


1992 


at 


1,300.000 


TOTAL 


76 


4,021,000 


Source Teus Railroad Commjuon 



The Houston Post 

able well, at least on paper. 

Despite having a vast web of 
interstate and intrasute pipe- 
luves carrying a variety of liquid 
products through the area, the 
area has fared relatively wen on 

papa 

In 1992. a Panhandle Eastern 
Pipeline spilled 16,000 gallons 
into Buffalo Bayou, a Texas 
Eastern pipeline spilled 63,000 



gallons in Deer Park and a 
Coastal States pipeline spilled 
30,000 gallons of butane, which 
caught fire 

In 1991, a year in which a sin- 
gle pipeline in the Panhandle 
leaked 1.4 million gallons, the 
Houston area saw only one 
10,000''galloo.leak, in Baytown. 

Some experts believe the 
Houston area might benefit from 
its cadre of trained inspectors 
and other energy industry per- 
sonnel, and from the fact that 
operators of heavy equipment 
that can puncture lines are more 
careful, given all the under- 
ground pipelines in the area. 

"I would say, given the concen- 
tration of pipelines in the Hous- 
ton area, the companies are 
probably more attuned to pipe- 
line location and maintenance, 
. than in other areas," says Brian^ 
Scbaible, a spokesman for the 
Railroad Commission. 

Another theory held by some is 
that Houston-area industry and 
local municipalities have some of 
the best emergency response 
units in the country ' 

William Zagorski, the San Pa- 
tricio emergency coordinator.' 
says the reason his county, and 
neighboring Corpus Cbnsti, have 
reported so many spills is not be-, 
cause companies operating there' 
are unusually sloppy Rather, be 
says, the area has one of the most 
aggressive and "proactive" poU- 
cies of ferreting out environmen- 
tal and public safety disasters 
before they happen. 

To that end. the many refiner- 
ies and pipeline companies in the 
area are constantly being visited 
by local emergency officials. 

"It's not that we have a whole 
lot more than anybody else, but 
it's reported," Zagorski says. 



RIVER OAKS ANTIQI ES CENTER 

We Buy. Sell & Consign Furniture. China, Crystal & Silver 

Tuesday Thru Sacurdi' lam-^pm 

2119 Westheimer 320-8238 1 



CHERYL TIECS 



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A 



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• >.«CT ROUND Ct' 
DINC DIAMOM) SOU 
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• 20S LOTS OF PE 

A>GHAMST\N k IMlOtSi • 

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. 322 LOTS OF AV. 

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• 916 LOTS OF El 

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17131 622-4299 

TeSJuS CASH. CHECKS 
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AMCRICA.V EXrUSS 



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2830 HICKS, JUST OH 



HAMi 

cus 






; lARNES 



E MIARNPC 



203 



tJ9ttof»v?(rtf h^^Mj"^^^ 



J^ firms have pipeline to regulators? 



Critics say agency lax 
in stopping accidents 



Tbis is the second of three reports 
eiamining pipeline and storage tank 
leaks and tbeir regulaUoa Today: 
RegtilatioD. or a cozy relatioBship? 

By Dan Carney 

post washington bureau 

WASHINGTON — Not far Irom 
Fredericksburg, Va., two migbty riv- 
ers converge. From the west, the 
Rappahannock descends from the 



Shenandoah Moun- 
tains oc its way to 
the Chesapeake 
Bay. From the 
south, one of Colo- 
nial Pipeline Co.'s 
trunk lines brings 
refined petroleum 
products from 
Houston to the 
Northeastern Unit- 
ed SUtes. 

Normally, the 
pipeline passes un- 
der the river unnoticed. But on a frig- 
id night at the end of 1989, it rup- 
tured, sending 210,000 gallons of 
kerosene into an open field. 




iJ^ik^A 



Fighting freezing temperatures, 
crews' hired by Colonial constructed 
earthen berms and assured the city 
they would contain the spill. For 14 
days they were right. 

"We bad been lulled into a false 
sense of security by their assur- 
ances," says City Attorney Jim Pates. 
"When in fact we didn't realize the 
dangec that awaited us." 

The danger manifested itself on 
New Year's Eve when the kerosene 
broke through and poured into a trib- 
utary of the Rappahannock. From 
there it flowed into the big river and 
right up to the intake point for the 

Please see SPILL, A-a 



204 



SPILL: Critics say industry has pipeline to regulat ors, control lax 



MmA-i cy coosidcn tfat biuot rlik **> 

aliQde^ttL 
e«y« wiur «y«enu- "I've never tea i r*f«l*'«7 

For the tirjt week o( ttae new agency k mucb Is bed with IB- 
ytar Fr«lenckiburt WM withoat iiatiy." uys P«le». "PipeUae 



■Iter and the the |0*enior de- 
cUrtd the county t diiutcr area 
Had thu been a one-time oc- 
arrence, the city would have 
ihragged it oil Biit the tame 
pipeline bad njptured in the 
tame place mnt yean bdore, for 
the tame reaton. aid with the 
tame coosequencet- 
: Of aU tilt IM.OOO miloona- 
tertute Imuid-cirryioj pipeline 
: wiUun the United Sutet thai tpUl 
' an average of more than 11.3 
'- million gallons a year, and al- 
most • quarter of a tuUuw gal- 
. Ions over two decades, the Colo- 
nial line is perhaps the most 
: notorious 

' Colonial katw cf a potential 
■ problem m ua thin-wj/fed hif h- 
ductile tteel pipeliM wtaea a. was 
: Uid in the early l«Wt It even 
hired a company to study ways ol no 
. preventing the problem, which is 
known as "railroad fatigue." and 
is caused by tuiy cracks that d» 
velop when the pipeline is 
' shipped to nte by train. 

Despite careful thipping. in 
1970 the company had its first 
railroad faugue rupture oea 



4.6 million gallont per year, 
which translatet to t,H7 (allons 
per hillioo loD-milet Tbe ll.> 
millioo faUoot a year pipeliDet 
•pilled traotlatet lb M^U gal- 
lons per billion tno-mllet. 

The oumbert are even more 
ttrlkiog is IMl and 1N2, after 
the unker industry dealt with the 
Exxon Valdei spill of 10 I mil- 
lion gillons of crude oil into 
Alaska's Prince William Sound in 
Ilia During thoae two yean 
pipelines spilled U.SI million 
laUoas to SIO.OOO ipilled by 
ttnkcn aad barges 

This huge dilpartty pacaa de- 
•pKe ttae lact that taoken and 
barges lace a number of advene 
condiuons that do not effect pipe- 
lines, including Korms, tides, 
currents, winds, fop and cap- 
tains who are not always at the 
helm 

Just beginning to rcaliie the 

extent of the problem. Cofrta 

in IMl propoaed pipeime legitla- 

Mtm. The act tpecified a number 

OPS Director Gcorft Tenley al procedural chasget but p«r- 

tays thai much o( Ok criticism haps its most radical feature is 



accident victims have abtolntely 
no ttaoding over at OPS. We 
can't partiapate is their hear- 
ings They wool provide docu- 
menu filed as pan of enforce- 
ment proceedings We have 

IH^iiing " 

Other aitia tt ttae agency ar- 
gM that CMS U it tectded to 
crack daw* so pipeline compa- 
■iet. il It a muip p rt eo *> to 
With oaly 24 iaspectort ana as 
equal number of office wwken. 
It IS expected to monitor 160,000 
miles of liquid pipelinet and 17 
million milet of gas lines 

"OPS U only about SO people," 
says Charles Batten, of the Na- 
tional Transportation Safety 
Board "If you look at what It's 
charged with, and lay: 'Fifty peo- 
ple are gomg U do that?' Ttaere'i 



bis agency comes under u unfair, 
often driven by pobticians who 
legitimately Hand up for local 
interesu but aren't tesstlUve to 
the disruptions In interstate com- 
merce they can cause. 



Tuscaloosa, Ala The same thmg f^^^ political decisions 

happened again in Mercer Coun- "^ 

ty. NJ , -u 1«75 and twice in 



"State and local people uy, 'I 
was elected to leak out lor the 
people's interest and you aren't 
letting me do this.' " Tenley tays 
Bui these are decisions that 
have to be made outside of a po- 
litical arena." 

Regarding the number of fed- 
eral inspectors, he says no num- 
ber will be sufficient if compa- 
nies don't adequately oversee 
themselves and if users of hack- 
hoes and other beav)- equipment 
thai can rupture pipelines oper- 
ate oblivious of whai is under- 
foot 

"If 1 had a thousand inspec- 
tors, most of the ipills in the last 
five years probably would have 
occurred anyway." Tenley says 

_^. .... According to Tenleys agency. 

uons but has no enforcement ao- pipelinet carrying crude oil, gas- 
thority - blamed the tplU on oline. heating oil, keroiene and 
railroad faugue II urged the Of- other products spilled 126 million 
tice of PIpebne Safety, wtocb pUons in the 20 years ending - 
regulates all interstate, and 



GreenvUle. S.C. — in May and 
June 117! 

Spills in Beaumont In l>71. and 
Housion in 1>76. appeared to 
' have tht same cause, a federal 
report concluded But no defini- 
tive conclasiorB were reached 
since meullurgical studies had 
not been conducted before the 
pipelines were lehoried 
Easy to idantify 

With this much of a history of 
railroad laugue spills, the Na- 
tional Trantporlation Safety 
Board had no problem after the 
first Fredericksburg tplll m 1»»0 
identifying the cause 

The board — which issues find- 
ings and makes lecommcnda' 



many mtrasute. pipelines to « 
der a replacement of certain por- 
tions of the line 
The OPS Ignored the wtnat 
■ and history repealed ittell m a 
field outside Fredenckshurg 



1W2 — or a Utile over lU tnil- 
lion gallons a year 

The numbert do not reflect 
spills companies say are below a 
threshold amoom — 2.100 gal- 
loot before IMS and 210 gallont 

. ttnee then Nor do they r ^lecf 

To this dav the dty doo not pipelints that are eiempt from 
believe the problem has been regulauon, including low-pret- 
corrected and like many other sure linet and rural I'tberlng 
communities around the country, lines such at a Marathon Oil Co 
has developed ao adversarial re- pipeline la Carlsbad. N M, that could see no reason lor Increat- 
UUonship with the OPS leaked 1 4 million gaUont Ing the number ol thuloti valves 

The city liled a oetiuoo under Despite these eicepuoot the In addition to more thutoll 
the Freedom ol Information Act rate of pipeline spills u more valves, there are a number of 
to find out what the agency knew than twice the rate ol unker and proposals often made lor de- 
about the condition ol Colonial barge spUls recorded by the US creasing the number and amount 
pipeline The peuuoo was denied Coast Guard, both in absolute of pipeline spUls. 

A similar petition by The numbers and as a percenuge of One method is knows as hydro- 
Houston Post lor OPS dau mdi- too-miles ol shipped product stauc testing, where compania 
eating which pipelines the ageo- Tankers and baLjes tpiU about thui down a pipeliie. fUl It with 



that it adds the phrase "and the 
protection ol the environment" 
to eiistmg legulation governing 
the Office ol Pipeline Safety 

As odd as It may teem, the 
OPS had never considered pro- 
tecting the environment part of 
Its mission, and It had never con- 
sidered environmental coctt of 
spills when deciding what kind ol 
requirements to place on pipeline 
companies. 

It wat actually the National 
Transporuiios Salety Board that 
Intitted on the change, teeing 
talely and pollution as going 
hand- In- band. 

The NTSB realiied the OPS 
wasnl requiring enough remote- 
ly controlled shutoll valves and 
other devices to prevent spills 
because iu studies showed they 
were not worth the cost 
Bookkaaping awry 

But tbe OPS's cott-benefit 
itudies did take into account en- 
vironmental cottt. which are of- 
ten the tingle largest part ol a 
^lUl 

For example, when an Exxon 
pipeline under the Arthur Rill 
Waterway linking New Jertey 
and New York's SUten Iiland 
ruptured Is 1019. ttae company 
spent miUions oo Iu own on 
cleanup ellons and then paid out 
IIS millioo u a court tetUcment 
Bat OB ttae OPS books, the tpUl 
wMld go down at a relatively 
minor one tlnce no one was killed 
or Intnred and do property wat 
allected With a databate ol 
these kinds ol Incidents, the OPS 



PIPELINE 
SPILLS '92 

By month. h«f» art th« 
numb«f ot pip»iin«-r«lai»d 
tpiUs in th« Un(1*d St«tM 
tor 1902 CauMsbst*d 
rtdud* corroton, 
•qutpTiani mAtlundion. tin* 
br*«kl and unknown. 

SPILUCC 

mum 



mmi. w.- 


tjGS3^0()0. 


f*(U«Y 1?.. 


;"776JS<ip.' 


Aprt .,._ _ y. 




W.J --1 


»i?X 


^ 13 


259 000 


fi~- " JJ 


co«.w> 




525,100 
"220^000 


Odobw 3 




Its^wse - i-- 


43,000 


OKmttM 2 




'roriiL" 114 


4.Kr*)0 



S«n. CM Son nri««><» nwov 



Th« i«us»n Pott 

water and Increase the presture 
well beyond where It would olh- 
erwite be. Inspectxirt then look 
lor pools ol water 

It Is arguably the single most 
eflective leak prevention meth- 
od, but pipeline companies don't 
like It^ 11 causes them to lose rev- 
enue and they argue it can cause 
ruptures under the high water 
presture that wouldn't otherwite 
happen. 

Another technology in use Is a 
device known as a "smart pig." 
which moves through the pipeline 
with iu normal flow, surveying 
the inside ol lU walls It can be 
effective In some cases, but 
much of the pipeline infrastruc- 
ture was not built with the most 
sophisticated kmds ol pigs In 
mind and contains turns thai are 
too sharp, changmg pipeline ap- 
ertures and other Impedimenu 

Vapors can sometimes be 
smiled by machines known as 
chromatographs. or even as Esso 
Chemical Canada iound out by 
more conventionlional snillers 
— dogs 

Fredericksburg has not bad 
another spill since 1919. but Colo- 
nial has had three other spills In 
the area, culminatmg on March 
21 ol Ihis year when 27S.000 gal- 
lons spewed out ol one ol lU lines 
Into a creek u Reston, Va 

Perhaps because ol lU proxim- 
ity to Washington — some ol the 
heating oil flowed through the 
nation's capiul oo the Potomac 
and could be smelled as lar away 
as Mount Vernon — this spill has 
caught the ailenuon ol govern- 
ment ollicials. 

Touring the site alterward. 
lederal olliciali ordered a lull m- 
vestigation and declared that 
when i! comes to pipeline regula- 
tion "environmental protection is 
as imporunt as public taleiy " 

Tut irfij Uvwg wiu tt*r- 



205 



a 


ess 

t Uken on 1 

n. after decU 
authority ov 
tlon of the si 


e 


OB 


m 

that hav 

Ken Ode 
federal 
investig 


e 


tal 

ocal media, 
ipanies. 
ly Attorney 
in state am 
irted hi3 own 


* 


r^ zi 11- 




le 

ipatb 
lifar 
rravia 
a va 
kfar 



1 




41 P ill llill 

III ll '|=I^-P^* 




206 



STATE OF NEW MEXICO 

ENERGY JtfllNERALS AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT 

OIL CONSERVATION DIVISION 

September 3. 1991 



•os'C'Cieo" ??( 

SANTA 'E NEWM(I.::{ 



Mr. W. J. Mueller 
Phillips Petroleum Company 
4001 Pennbrook 
Odessa. TX 79762 



Re: AGING INFRASTRUCTURE INDUSTRY COMMITTEE . ' 

Dear Mi. Mueller. 

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the Agijig liiriasinicliire Cosiiuiiltce. I believe that this 
committee will address iome of ihe most critical and complex issues facing the oil and gas 
industry' loday and in the future. In the first four months of this year, 60% of production line 
leaks reponed to OCD and 86% of injection line leaks were attributed to corrosion — totaling 
approximately 3,400 barrels of oil and 3,900 barrels of water. These losses are exclusive of the 
35,000 barrel condensate loss reponed by an operator in the Indian Basin field. Also, we have 
reason to believe that the reponed spills represent only 10 to 50% of actual leaks. 

Bill Mueller with Phillips Petroleum in Midland, Texas has agreed to chair this commiiiee. 
Following is a list of issues for your consideration and deliberation. Please do not feel limited 
by this list or feel that all items on the list need addressing or are of equal importance. 

1. Equipment corrosion — valves, tanks, but especially flow lines and gathering systems. 

a. Investigate the frequency of mechanical failures and ihe conditions affecting 
failure. How does pressure, temperature, fluid properties, and composition and 
age of the pipe effect the mechanical integrity of pipe and equipment and what 
remedies can be employed to prevent failure. 

b. Recommendations for additional regulations or industry guidelines. 

2. Procedures for increasing product inventory conirol — icpon unaccounted product loss 
■or gain even when spills are not evidenced. 

a. Recommendations for additional regulations or industry guidelines. 



207 



3. General review of the current status of well bores and maintenance and testing 
procedures which could ensure mechanical integrity of casing and cement jobs over 
periods of 20 to 50 years. What can/should industry do to extend the mechanical life of 
producing wells? 

a. With our current c(7orts to extend ilic useful life of producing wells and to 

encourage additional ternary technology and application, there may be procedures 
and/or techniques which will allow longer service )ife for our existing wellbores. 

I have enclosed a list of committee members, their addresses^and telephone numbers. By copy 
of this letter, I am requesting a committee representative from B.L.M. and the State Land 
Office. A member of OCD's Environmental Bureau will also be attending meetings and can 
provide the committee with reported spill occurrence and frequency information. The next 
contact you will receive will be from Cliniriii.in Mueller who will set the agenda and time and 
place for your first mectmg. Let me know if I or any member of the OCD staff can be of help 
in supplying information or pursuing ilie goals of this committee. 1 appreciate your willingness 
to serve and look forward to receiving the results of your study. 



Very truly yours 







/ILLIAM J. LeMAY, 
Director I 

WJL/dp 



Enclosure 



208 




SOUTHWEST RESEARCH AND INFORMATION CENTER 
P.O. Box 4524 Albuquerqu*. NM 87106 505-262-1862 



MARATHON INDIAN BASIN GAS PLAN7 GATHERING LINE LEAK - 
INCIDENT SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENFORCEMENT ACTION 

prepared by 

^hris Shuey 
Director, Community Water Quality Program 
Southwest Research and Information Center 

July 16, 1991 



For 20 years a continuing tradition of affective dtizen action 



209 



MARATHON INDIAN BASIN GAS PLANT GATHERING UNE LEAK - 
INCIDENT SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENFORCEMENT ACTION" 

prepared by 

Chris Shuey, DirecJor, Community Water Quality Program 

Southwesl Research and Inlormalion Center 

July J6, 1991 

This paper summarizes the available information on the leak of petroleum 
condensate and produced water at the Marathon Oil Company Indian Basin gds- 
processing plant near Carlsbad, N.M. The information and data herein are based on 
SRlC's review of documents provided by Marathon to the New Mexico Oil 
Conservation Division (NMOCD) through Monday July 8, 1991, and on intervi.^ws 
with officials of relevant state and fedeia] agencies.i Much of the most recent 
information was taken from documents provided by NMOCD -to the Wal?: Quality 
Control Commission (WQCC) on July 9 and in SRIC's telephone interviews with 
NMOCD officials on July 10 and July'l2 and with U.S. Bureau of Land Managemen'; 
(ELM) officials on July 15 and 16. SRIC's concerns about the leak and its 
recommendations for enforcement action to deter future leaks are discussed 

SOURCE AND LOCATION OF THE LEAK - The leak occurred in Gathering Lin= =' 
a point about 800 feel south of the Marathon Indian Basin plant in section 23, 
T.21.S., R.23.E., Eddy County, New Mexico, about 25 miles northwest of Carlsbac. 

VOLUME AND CHEMISTRY OF LEAKED FLUIDS - According to NMOCD, 1.47 
million gallons (35,000 barrels) of unrefined natural gas condensate and 840,000 
gallons (20,000 barrels) of produced water le<.ked from the gathering line between 
November 1990 and April 12, 1991, when the leak was discovered by Marathon 
personnel. David Boyer, NMOCD environme.ital bureau chief, told the WQCC on 
July 9 that he assumes that the produced water is at least as salty as sea water, that is, 
that it has a total dissolved solids concentration of at least 35,000 parts per million. 
He also said ihat the n jiural gas condensate its.elf is a complex mixture of aromatic 
and aliphatic hydrocarbons in extremely high concentrations. " 

CAUSE OF THE LEAK ~ Marathon stated in a Jvne 11 report to the Enviro..r->r.'ntal 
Protection Agency (EPA) that the gathering line failure was "the result of ' -r 
H2S (hydrogen sulfide) corrosion in the bottom, water carrying portion of tl>- 

•5EOLOGY OF THE SJTE — The leak site is underlain by 12 feet to 16 feet of gravnily 
'•uvium i.". r;ocky Arroyo. The alluvium rests or alteuidling beds of dolomite (or 
.agnesiuin limestone") and sandstone. Fracture;, and joints persist throughout 
these strata and are acknowledged by NMOCD to '.ie a principal path for migration of 



iSRIC has not reviewed Maratho-. "s latest report, w.hich was subndttec tc 
NKOCD on Tuesday July 9, 199I. 



210 



fluids to the Lower Queen aquifer, which supplies potable water to wells in the 
region and which begins about 175 feel below the land surface at the plant site. 

EXTENT OF CONTAMINATION — As of June 25, condensate and produced water were 
detected in several boreholes in the alluvium and in the top few inches of the 
dolomite at a maximum distance of 3,800 feet from the leak site. Two boreholes 
drilled into the dolomitic bedrock to 76 feel and 65 feet (boreholes #80 and #81 on 
attached Map 1) haJ hydrocarbon odois; a third bedrock borehole, #82, encountered 
liquid condensate at 41.5 feet below the land surface. These three boreholes are 
located at distances of 2^00 feet, 3300 feet, and 3,700 feet from the leak site. A trace of 
benzene, a petroleum coi\stituent, was delected In ground water in the Lower Queo'-. 
aquifer at 175 feet below the land surface in a borehole (#83) located at the 
southeastern edge of the contaminant plume about 3.200 feet from the leak site. 
During the first week of July, condensate was detected floating on the water table of 
\s Lower Queen in two ground water monitoring wells. Borehole #84, which is 
!• icafed 4,200 feet northeast of the leak point, contained one-quarter inch of 
C'ir.densate; borehole #85, which is located about 5,000 feel due east of the leak s.:e, 
contained one foot of condensate. (See Map I.) Tne depth to ground water in thr.se 
two wells is about 207 feel. Detection of condensate on the water table of the Lo\.er 
Queen suggests leakage through the dolomite via fractures and joints. 

Mr. Boyer told SRIC on July 12 that a new monitoring well drilled 1300 fee( ea>l (or 
downgradient) of borehole #85 did not show condensate contamination. As :.t '' jI'.- 
16, BLM officials said Marathon is still trying to determine the areal extent of li.. 
contaminant plume while recovering as much petroleum product as possible. 

SOURCE OF THE CONDENSATE - According to NMOCD. Marathon official , said 
last week that the condensate in borel-.clcs #84 and #85 is "weathered" and does no. 
chemically match that of the leaked fluids. As of late on July 12, NMOCD officia s 
had not verified Marathon's claim. Howevei, Mr Beyer told WQCC members on 
July 9 and SRIC staff in telephone conversations on July 10 and 12 that the agency 
holds Marathon responsible for the contaminaiion since tliere are no other sources 
of petroleum pollutants in the area. NMCXD Director William LeMay confirmed 
the agency's position in a telephone conversation with SRIC staff on July 11.2 

REGULATORY ORDERS TO DATE — Upon notification that a spill had occuned on 
April 12, Marathon was ordered by both NMOCD and BLM to begin an investigatio:. 
of the cause and exteivt of the kak. Soil organic vapor aixilyses were submitted bv 
Marathon to NMOCD during the last week of April and first week of May; those 
data depicted a plume of confaminanli grading eastward from the spill site along i! 



2An inopectlon of a imp contained in Marathon's June 11 report to EPA 
shows that a condensate and produced water gathering line (Line 13) travel ses 
Section 2< In the approxiiBat© area of borehole #35. (See attached Map II.) If 
the chemistry of the condensate In that monitoring well is confirmed to be 
different than that of the leaked fluids, the possibility of previous leaks 
from Line 43 should bo investigated. 

2 



211 



axis o/ Rocky Arroyo. (See Map I.) A NMCXTD letter of May 15 directed Marathon to 
conduct further investigations and to recover condensate and produced water. By 
mid-June, Marathon had received p>ermiss;on from NMOCD to drill monitoring 
welJs through the dolomite and info the Lower Queen aquifer. The detection of 
condensate in the Lower Queen wells n>oreholes #83, #&4, and #85) at distances of 
up to neatly one mile from the leak site prompted NMOCD on July 4 to order 
Marathon to drill atvl complete addition iJ monitoring wells 1,500 feet east of 
boreholes #ft4 and ^B5, or approximately 1.2 miies from the point of the pipeline 
leak. Marathon also is required to subjiiil a comprehensive remediation plan to 
NMOCD and BLM once the full extent of the contamination is determined. 

DAMAGE TO PROPERTY — NMOCD offjcials said that the closest water wells aiid 
springs used for drinking purposes are located about 3 miles east of the plant site 
along Rocky Arroyo Marathon's weekly sampling and analyses of water from thosf 
sources have not detected petroleum-reJaled contamination, NMOCD and BLM 
officials said. The Pecos River is about 1? miles east of the nearest domestic well. 

MARATHON COMPLIANCE — As of the /jrst of July, U\e company had drilled 85 
boreholes, of which 50 are completed as recovery wells. Of those, 20 to 30 are 
recovering fluids from atop the doloniite at its interface with the alluvium. Mr. 
Boyer said that as of July 1, the company had recovered nearly 3,400 barrels of 
condensate (about 9.7 percent of the volunie leaked) and more than 8,000 barrels of 
produced water (about 40 percent of the volume leaked) 

HISTORY OF THE LEAK — Mr. Boyer told the WQCC that the leak probably began 
sometime in November 1990. During that month, Marathon reported a more than 
50-percent reduction in condensate production. Until the time the leak was detected 
in April, the company told state and federal officials that it could not determine the 
reason for the discrepancy between actual production and theoretical productior. 
The discrepancy persisted, however, through March 1991 when condensate 
production was only about a quarter of normal, as shown in Table 1 below. 

At the time of the leak, the condensate and produced water gathering lines were nor 
equipped with meters to measure flow; the total combined flow from the four 
gathering lines was (and continues to be) measured Inside the plant. BLM officials 
said that condensate and produced water are sepju-ated at the production wells before 
being recombined for transport to the plant through the gathering lines.-"- 

N'isual inspections of the gathering lines by company personnel did not delect 
leakage until plant workers observed a "sinkhole" at the leak point on April 12. The 
leak occurred in a section of steel pipe that was installed five years ago after a fla:;h 
flood in Rocky Arroyo broke an existing PVC gathering line, resulting in a much 



^Saltwater and condensate are piocJuced ftom about 40 natural gas wells 
located within a 7-{nilw radius of the plant, Marathon docxunents show. 



212 



TobI* 1. CoAd*n»at« PreduOion at Morothon Indian Botin Plant 
(selccled data fiwn 1989. 199C, and 199], in barrels, daU from NMOCD) 



Month/Year 


Production 


Apnll9B9 


12,000 


November 1989 


10,600 


December 1989 


UOOO 


April 1990 


11,000 


October 1990 


If. 600 


November 1990 


4,600 


December 1990 


4,400 


January 1991 


5,600 


February 1991 


3300 


March 1991 


2300 


April 1991 


7,700 



smaller leak. (All gathering Jines coming into the plant are made of PVC.) The nev 
steel section was not equipped with cdthodic protection to prevent external or 
internal corrosion. Since the April 12 leak, the failed section of gathering line has. 
been replaced with a section of PVC inserted into a larger-diameter steel pipe 

FUTURE REGUIATORY RESPONSES — NMOCD officials say that are concerned 
that the advancing age of oil-field infrastructure (gathering lines, product pipelir.ci, 
storage tanks, production well casings, etc.) is causing inaeased environmental 
damage in the southeast oil fields. Mr. Boyer reported that NMCX^D has observfd a 
significant increase in leaks and spills in the last two to three years and thai mudi o) 
that increase is attributable to corrosion of gathering lines and injection lines. 
N.MOCD statistics for the first four months of 1991 reveal the extent of the proticn. 
of a^i. .g ii\fraslructure and the apparent widespread lack of compliance by oper alo: > 
w:th th£- spill reporting requirements of the WQCC and NMOCD regulalions: 

• Corrosion caused 61 percent of al! production-line leaks and 86 peicent of 2ll 
injection-line leaks. 

• About 3/400 barrels of petroleum condensate were lost from corrosion-causea 
leaks in lines and tanks; that numlHir represents 55 percent of all .:. ' issi ; 
reported by operators to NMOCD in the first third of 1991. 

• CojTosion was responsible for 8S psicent of the 3,900 barrels of pioduw-c; v.a'..r 
Icst from leaks in production and injection lines. 

• OiJy 10 percent to SO percent of a:! leaks are actually reported to NMOCC. 
The Marathon leak points to the need fo require operators to demonstrat'-* the 



213 



.. --I 'Ay of their pipes, casings, tanks and other facilities on a regular basis, Mr. 
Bc; w. lOld the WQCC, adding that NMOCD will move aggressively by next spring ti* 
propose and adopt new regulations to ensure integrity of pipelines in order to 
prevent leaks. Mr. LcMay told SRIC that NMOCD intends to convene a task force to 
study the issue and make recommendations foi leguJatory actions. 

SRIC? CONCERNS-,— SRIC is concerned that the state is not contemplating 
additional enforcement action against Marathon. There are several reasons why- 
court-imposed fines and penalties should be sought, including — 

« 

• The magnitude of the le ak. At 2.3 nullion gallons, the Marathon leak is one 
of the largest unrefined petroleuu; spills in the state's history, possibly second 
only to the more than 500,000 barrels of crude oil that has leaked into the 
Ogallala Aquifer in Lea County frum hundreds of corroded oil well casings 
who£* construction dates> to the 1920s and 1930s. 

• The toxicity of the fluids . The leaked fluids can be acutely and chronically 
toxic to both humans and animals The condensate and produced water tire 
likely to conlaii\ very high levels of aron^dtic hydrocarbons such as bejizt-ne 'a 
known hun\an carcinogen), toluene, etliyll>en2ene, and xylenes. The 
produced water is corrosive because it is a concentrated brine. Tlie produ».ea 
water may also contain elevated toncentratiojis of naturally occurring 
radioactj-e materials including radium-226, another carcinogen. 

• The extent and du i ation of environmen tal da mage. Although the exter. lo 
which ground water has been polluted ren-ains uncertain, a large area of soils 
and rock has been contaminated and will remain so for years, if not decacies. 
The fractures in the dolomite have been shown to be effective conduits f -r 
contaminant migration. The fact that condensate from some source has l'.-;- 
found on top of the water table of the Lower Queen aquifer is indicativ-. ■ il 
potential for long-term, continuing discharges of toxic pollutants to the 
ground water. The damage that these long-tern\ discharges may bring to ;;-.e 
regional ground water system may rvot be known for severjj years. 

• Company negligence . Marathon could have prevented this leak if it had 
equipped the 200-foot steel section of Line U4 with cathodic protection or 
installed flow meters on each of tl-.e four gathering lines coming into the 
plant or at the individual wellheads. The company apparently did not stare 
diligently for the cause of the discrepancy in its condensate produc!»or 
volumes when the 50-percent-plu.s loss was noted in November bird;,ie tha. 
discrepancy ^ew even larger over the following four months. < 



<The law enforcemfent unit ^.f bLy.'s stsi* c-fClct in Santa Fe is 
Co:nd'JCting a "rou'.ine" invescigaticri rt.o the cause jt th« leak and wh«tLri>3r 
any fedeial envlro.irriental, niineial. '..■ fraud laws were vioiated.- BLt-: offiuia-s 
ct.nfi rmed. BLM law enforcement persoi..'.-;! havt visited the plant site and 
i .te: . '--ed Karathon employees about ti.e cause and history oi the leak. 



214 



• Possible violation of WOCC Reg u lations . NMOCD officials said they "take as 
a given" that the numerical standards of the Commission's regulations have 
been, or will be, violated once the fluids reach ground v^ater, if they have not 
already as a result of migration of pollutants to the Lower Queen aquifer. 

SRtC'S R£COMMEN0ATJ0NS — SRJC believes that state must take additional 
enforcement action gainst Marathon in order to send a dear message that the 
people of New Mexico expect industry to lake proactive steps to prevent leaks and 
spills of toxic substances. TWo lega^ avenues vre available to the state in this regard. 

I 

• Court-imposed penalties and fines . 9iould ground water be confirmed to 
have been cdntanuiuted as a result of the leak. NMOCD, on behzdf of the 
Water Quality Control Commission, should initiate a dwl action in state 
district court for Eddy County against Marathon for violation of the 
Cor.jnission's regulations Suc!\ action is authorized by the state Water 
Quality Act (WQA, §74-6-10.8.;. The actioii $hi»uld seek-fines commenvuratt- 
with the damage cattsed by Jhe it^k and recow-ry of expenses incurred m 
investigating the leak and prosecuting the claims. 

• Assuranc e of piscontiiiuance. Either independent of a courl action o: *.: :i 
result of it, the Commission shouIJ require Marathon to enter into :■■■: 
Assurance of Discontiiraance (auii-.orized by WQA §74-6-10.D.) that will guicU 
cleanup of tht? Jcik and serve to rigulate Und mitigate) ongoing leaka^-? ;>l' 
].yiutants through the bedrock imo the aquii'er below. 

To e.nsure that leaks and spills are orovented and to facilitate state legal actior. win 
pollution oj-cure. at least two regulatory and slatutor> charges are needed. 

• New regulatio n.- fo r aging in fras' riicture . As soon as is reasonably ieari'.'e. 
N'MCXTD should piopc<se and adu-Ji. .ifter notice and opportunity for pubiic 
comment and hearings, regulatioris thai rt-quirt; demonstration of th-^ 
integrity of all lines and equipmt: I that have the potential to leak 
contaminants into the waters oi the slate. 

• Administ r ative penalties and ci tize ns suits . The Water Quality Act (§74- ;>-l 
tlu-cugh 13, N.M.S.A. 1978, as amended) and the Oil and Gas Act (S70-2-: 
throL^jh 36, N.M5JL 1978, as a:.ntnded) should be amended to crant the 
W'QCC and ils conititusnt agenda's and the Oli Conservation Corr;mis5ic)n 
the authority to Impose adinir.:.«;trative penalties and fines for violations of 
the ?..'ts and their i.-nplemenline rc-iiridationc Thve&e statutes also should be 
anie; Jed lo allow {<x private causes of acti.m by citizens against state agencies 
thai fail to carry out nondiscretionarv dutJer- and against operators that vioiai* 
ktate laws and regulations. 



215 



,35 

|1-o-|| — 




IJVW 



216 



MAP II 




JUN 1 7 1991 

oil CONSERVATION DV. 



217 

PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES 



Testimony for the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 
of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee 

I am Donald R. Brinkley, Chief Executive Officer of Colonial 
Pipeline Company. Colonial is a Delaware and Virginia corporation 
that operates pipeline facilities through 14 states in the 
Southeastern and Eastern United States. Colonial's pipeline system 
transports nearly 80 million gallons of petroleum products per day 
to serve the needs of the citizens of these and surrounding states; 
this amount represents roughly 12 percent of United States' daily 
consumption of petroleum products. In the State of Virginia, the 
petroleum products delivered by Colonial accounted for 
approximately 80 percent of the gasoline, fuel oil, and kerosene 
consumed during 1989, the last year for which consumption data is 
generally availeOsle. 

Colonial appreciates the opportunity to address this committee 
concerning the March 28, 1993 leak near Reston, Virginia, and the 
implications that incident has for pipeline safety. Colonial 
always welcomes the opportunity to discuss issues concerning 
pipeline safety, and I am prepared to answer any questions you may 
have regarding the Reston incident, the clean-up effort and the 
many actions Colonial has undertaken in connection with this 
incident. 

Data show that pipelines are the safest mode of transportation for 
petrolevim emd petroleum products, and I must emphasize that 



218 



Colonial's record is significantly better than that of the oil 
pipeline industry in general. In 1991, for example, releases from 
the Colonial system were less than one-third that of the overall 
industry average on a ton-mile transported basis. Our recent 
experience in Virginia should also be viewed from the perspective 
that, while our Virginia leaks since 1968 have comprised 11.4 
percent of overall DOT reportable leaks, pipeline mileage in 
Virginia comprises 14 percent of the mileage of the entire system. 
In our experience, there is a single thread running through the 
series of leaks in Virginia and that is the prevalence of third- 
party damage as the cause. Of the 10 reporteible leaks in Virginia 
since 1980, fully one-half were due to third-party damage. 

Based on the currently available physical evidence, it is clear 
that the cause of this leak is mechanical deunage from a so-called 
outside force. The NTSB metallurgical report, issued on May 11, 
1993, indicates that the damage was caused by some sort of 
excavating equipment.* As witnesses have testified or will testify 
to this committee, much investigation remains to be done on who may 
have damaged this pipeline. Nonetheless, the evidence so far 
indicates that the excavation equipment was operated by a third 



^ Tlw RTSB MatalluxgKt'a Faecual Kaport 1« cinul«t*nt with Colonial Pipollna'* original opinion that tha 
36- inch lina rupturad bacauaa of outslda machanieal forca damaga. Tha diaeovary of traeas of foralgn natal In 
tha OTitin »raa of tha groova duzin« tha HISB anal7>i« aupporta tha thaory that tha naehanieal daaa«a raaultad 
froa axcavatins aqulpmant. 



219 



party.* Since all the facts regarding the damage to Colonial's 
pipeline in Reston, Virginia are as yet unknown, insight into the 
risks posed by third-party contractors can be gained by considering 
another incident that occurred on the Colonial system in Fairfax 
County. The particular incident to be discussed is the 1987 
gasoline leak at Singleton's Grove subdivision near Centreville, 
Virginia. 

The Singleton's Grove Incident 

The Singleton's Grove subdivision in Centreville, Virginia was 
developed by the U.S. Home Corporation ("U.S. Home"). U.S. Home 
designed the subdivision such that it is literally bisected by the 
pipeline easement, containing both a 32-inch and a 36-inch 
pipeline. Half of the subdivision was built on one side of the 
pipelines and half on the other side. The subdivision is connected 
by a street over the pipelines known as "Singleton's Way." In 
addition, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water, electrical and 
telephone lines cross through the pipeline easement to connect both 
halves of the subdivision. 



^ Foe ««ir«r*l raasona, Coloolal could not hsv« b««a tha sourc* of tha daaa«a which causod the niptura. 
Flrat, tha touca on tha ptpallna vhlch lad to tha fallura vaa loncltudlnal Ln natural that It followad tha llna 
of tha plpa indieataa that tha aqulpaant vfaich daaa«ad tha llna vas oparatln* dlractly ovar tha plpalina, a 
condition that- would not axiat in original construction. Second, aftar tha nptiira. Colonial raaovad tha covar 
abova ita adjacant S2-lnch plpalina to Inapact ita condition in tha araa wfaaca tha 36-inch plpalina rupturad. 
Colonial diacovarad toucaa on tha 32-lnch plpalina alailar to tha («>••• «» ^i>' 36-inch plpalina. It ta 
azcaadinslr unllkaly that tha 32-lnch plpalina, which waa inatallad 20 raara prior to tha 36-inch plpalina, 
would hava ataiilar (oucaa in tha a«M araa if tha daaa«a occurrad durin* initial inatallatlon of tha plpalina. 
Finally, and aoat laportantlr to Coloalal, wa rasard tha poaaibilitF of danafa durinc original conatructlon to 
have baen low bacauaa of our ajtactin* coaatructioo atandarda and tha hi«h dacraa of apaciallsad profaaalonaliaai 
of our contractors . 



220 



As discussed below. Colonial had no input into the design of the 
Singleton's Grove subdivision or the desirability of repeatedly 
crossing its easement. Once the developer obtained site plan 
approval for the sxibdivision from local officials, Colonial had no 
authority to bar construction over its easement unless the proposed 
encroachment actually threatened pipeline operations. 

U.S. Home retained a s\ibcontractor , F.E. Gregory & Sons, Inc. 
("Gregory") , to make a number of the utility crossings through the 
pipeline easement. Gregory was also hired by U.S. Home to build 
Singleton's Way over the pipeline easement. 

At the time it was hired by U.S. Home, Gregory was in financial 
difficulty and under Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. 
Further, while U.S. Home required Gregory to submit proof of 
insurance, the bulk of Gregory's insurance did not cover 
environmental or pollution damage that might occur if Gregory 
struck one of the pipelines. In short, U.S. Home retained a 
contractor to work in the pipeline easement who had no financial 
ability to respond to any damage to the pipeline and no insurance 
to cover any environmental or pollution damage if it struck the 
pipelines. 

Shortly after Gregory was hired, it began construction on an 8-inch 
sanitary sewer that was designed to cross under Colonial's 
pipelines. Colonial reviewed the drawings and procedures for 



221 



installation of the sewer svibmitted by U.S. Home. Colonial 
requested that certain safeguards be implemented to protect the 
pipelines, including restrictions on use of mechanized equipment 
tmd prior notification to Colonial of any excavation of the 
pipelines. The pxirpose of the notification requirement was to 
permit a Colonial representative to be present when the pipelines 
were exposed. Colonial's safety procedures were reduced to writing 
in the form of a letter agreement between U.S. Home and Colonial. 

On October 28, 1986, a Colonial representative went to the 
Singleton's Grove sxibdivision responding to a call that had been 
placed by Gregory to Miss Utility, the Virginia one-call service. 
One-call services are central clearinghouses which contractors 
notify prior to excavation so that companies with buried facilities 
in the area can be notified and given an opportunity to respond. 
Colonial's representative discovered that Gregory's employees were 
in the process of exposing Colonial's pipelines with a backhoe. 
This action was in violation of the written agreement Colonial had 
with U.S. Home requiring notification and the presence of a 
Colonial representative prior to excavation near the pipelines. 
Gregory's excavation within the easement also violated the Virginia 
one-call statute and Fairfax County ordinances, which required that 
Gregory's employees make the Miss Utility call 48 hours before 
excavating in the easement. 



222 



The Colonial representative halted Gregory's work and called a 
Colonial supervisor. The Colonial supervisor lectured Gregory's 
on-site foreman, Keith Carpenter, about Gregory's unauthorized 
conduct. Colonial had no authority, however, to penalize Gregory 
or to bar Gregory from working in the pipeline easement. 

Approximately seven months later, Gregory began construction on 
Singleton's Way, the street that crossed over the pipeline 
easement. Colonial had reviewed the construction drawings for the 
street submitted by U.S. Home and had requested a nximber of 
safeguards to protect the pipelines. These safeguards included: 
installation of protective concrete slabs over the pipelines where 
the street crossed them, restrictions on the use of mechanized 
digging equipment in the easement, and notification to Colonial so 
that a Colonial representative could be present whenever work was 
to be performed near the pipelines. Once again, these safeguards 
were reduced to writing in a letter agreement between Colonial and 
U.S. Home . 

On June 11, 1987, Keith Carpenter, the same Gregory employee whom 
Colonial had previously caught exposing the pipelines, struck 
Colonial.' s 32-inch pipeline while excavating in the easement with 
a 48-inch ripper blade attached to a bulldozer, this time without 
any notice to Colonial or Miss Utility of the intended work. The 
tip of the ripper blade punched a 4-inch by 4-inch hole in the 32- 



223 



inch pipeline that resulted in the release of approximately 15,000 
gallons of premium grade gasoline into the Singleton's Grove 
subdivision. The leak required extensive remediation efforts by 
Colonial, U.S. Home and Fairfax County. 

ACTIONS NEEDED TO PREVENT THIRD-PARTY DAMAGE 

What lessons can be drawn from Colonial ' s experience at 
Centreville, Virginia and, to the extent facts are known, from the 
recent leak near Reston, Virginia? One clear lesson of the 
Centreville incident is that the one-call systems available in this 
country need strengthening. As noted above, no U.S. Home or 
Gregory employee ever notified Colonial of the proposed use of the 
ripper blade over the pipelines on June 11, 1987, either by calling 
Colonial's office directly or by calling Miss Utility. This was a 
breach of Colonial's letter agreement with U.S. Home and a 
violation of the Virginia one-call statute and Fairfax County 
ordinances. Despite the seriousness of this conduct, however, the 
employee who struck the pipeline was never prosecuted. Charges 
were brought against Gregory under the Fairfax County ordinances at 
the initiative of Fairfax County's Department of Environmental 
Management. This prosecution in the Fairfax County General 
District Court ended with a fine of $1,000, $500 of which was 
suspended. This nominal penalty is not an appropriate deterrent 
for actions that potentially threatened the lives of construction 
workers at the site and residents of the subdivision, and caused 
substantially more than $2,000,000 in property damage. 



224 



A good initial step to strengthen one-call systems was taken by the 
Congress in enacting § 304 of the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992, 
which provided for criminal sanctions for one-call violations that 
result in death, serious bodily injury or property damage, or the 
release of more than 2100 gallons of petroleum. On the other hand, 
these criminal sanctions can be a cumbersome method of dealing with 
infractions of one-call rules and can only be invoked after a 
sloppy excavator has caused serious damage. For example, § 304 of 
the Pipeline Safety Act would not have permitted criminal sanctions 
against Gregory the first time it was detected violating the one- 
call rules at Singleton's Grove. Criminal sanctions for serious 
accidents should hence be supplemented. One additional measure 
that would strengthen one-call provisions would be to grant 
authority to the Department of Transportation to levy substantial 
civil penalties for an excavator's failure to utilize available 
one-call notification systems regardless of the damage caused by 
that failure. Granting the Department this authority will provide 
additional incentive to those parties to comply with one-call 
rules, and such incentive may, in fact, be greater than that 
provided by rarely- invoked criminal sanctions. 

The minor penalty assessed against Gregory Construction Company 
after the Centreville incident also points out a related deficiency 
of the penalty provisions of the Federal Oil Pollution Act. Under 
that statute, a penalty of up to $1,000 per barrel can be assessed 
against- the owner or operator of a facility while no penalty of a 

8 



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corresponding magnitude can be assessed against the person who 
causes the spill, if different from the ovmer or operator. In this 
respect, OPA contrasts unfavorably with the provisions of the 
Virginia oil spill statute under which the Virginia Department of 
Environmental Quality has ample authority to seek penalties against 
the person who ultimately is responsible for causing the spill. 

Another lesson of the Singleton's Grove incident is that greater 
controls are needed over contractors who are authorized to work in 

pipeline easements. Colonial presently has na authority to 

regulate the qualifications of contractors working in its 
easements. Obviously, it is not desirable to have financially 
troubled contractors working in pipeline easements because such 
contractors present special risks. Generally speaking, they have 
less qualified employees and a higher rate of employee turnover. 
Inexperienced and improperly supervised employees operating 
mechanized equipment near a pipeline increase the potential risk to 
the pipeline. 

Economic pressures may also force bankrupt contractors to take 
short cuts that compromise safety. At Singleton's Grove, for 
instance, Gregory was many months behind its construction schedule. 
In part- to induce Gregory to work faster in constructing 
Singleton's Way, U.S. Home renegotiated Gregory's contract such 
that Gregory stood to lose more than $60,000 if it did not complete 
the street on an expedited time table. The pressure on a 



226 



financially troubled contractor to cut comers to speed its work 
under these circumstances compromises safety. 

Forttmately for the public. Colonial possesses the financial 
resources to address leaks such as Singleton's Grove and the recent 
Reston incident, but it is sensible policy to require contractors 
working near interstate pipelines to demonstrate that they have the 
financial wherewithal to properly address the risks of their 
operations. As Singleton's Grove indicates, many, if not most, 
contractors (perhaps unknown to them) , have pollution exclusions in 
their general liability policies. This exposes the public to an 
additional degree of risk that the party causing an oil spill 
incident will be financially unable to respond to. Accordingly, 
Colonial believes that the following measures should be taken to 
assure contractor solvency: (1) contractors working in or near 
interstate hazardous liquid pipelines should be required to 
demonstrate an appropriate degree of financial responsibility, 
including maintenance of insurance that does not exclude coverage 
for pollution or environmental damage; (2) if the contractor cannot 
demonstrate financial stability and adequate insurance, the 
property owner or other person hiring the contractor should be 
required to provide adequate insurance to cover damage resulting 
from the- contractor's negligence; and (3) pipelines should be given 
the authority to seek injunctive relief in federal court to prevent 
excavation in its easement if a contractor, landowner or other 
person cannot provide evidence of adequate insurance. The cvirrent 

10 



227 



system is unfair to pipeline companies because it penalizes them 
for the negligence of third-party contractors they did not hire and 
over %rtiom they have little or no control. 

Local governments can also play an important role in pipeline 
safety by using their lemd use regulatory authority to restrict 
unnecessary construction in pipeline easements. Pipeline companies 
such as Colonial have no authority to restrict or bar construction 
in their easements unless the construction actually interferes with 
the operation of the pipeline. If local governments were to 
consider as part of the approval process for site plans and 
building permits the need to reduce the number of encroachments 
into utility easements, pipeline safety would be promoted by 
reducing the opportunity for third-party damage. 

Singleton's Grove presents a good exzunple of how local governments 
could have reduced the risk of third-party damage to the pipelines 
by incorporating into the site plan approval process a requirement 
that encroachments in utility easements be minimized. The design 
of the Singleton's Grove subdivision sxibstantially and 
unnecessarily increased the number of encroachments in the pipeline 
easement for installation of storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water 
and electrical lines, and streets and sidewalks. The subdivision 
did not have to be designed in a manner that required such 
extensive crossings of the easement. By reconfiguring the streets 
leading into the subdivision, the developer could have constructed 

11 



228 



two entrances to the subdivision, thereby eliminating the necessity 
for building a road across the easement. Similarly, it would have 
been possible for the developer to reconfigure the utilities 
located in the subdivision to avoid or reduce the number of 
pipeline crossings. Thus, by conditioning approval of the site 
plans and building permits on reducing the number of encroachments 
in the easement, the existing subdivision could have been built 
without exposing the pipelines to so many potential third-party 
incidents . 

Local government actions restricting unnecessary construction in 
easements are also appropriate in light of federal law and state 
laws that require, to the extent practicable, construction of new 
utility lines in existing rights-of-way.^ The requirement that 
utilities share easements means there is often a concentration of 
lines in the seuae utility corridor. The greater the number of 
utilities in a corridor, the greater the chance that one of those 
utilities will be struck whenever construction occurs in the 
easement. Local governments could aid the objectives of the 
federal legislation by controlling unnecessary encroachment in 
these corridors. 



See Fadaral Power Coonlaslon Order Mo. tl4. Doe. No. R-368, November 27, 1970, edoptin( Culdelinei for 
the Protection of NeturaL, Historic, Scenic end Recreational Values In the Design and Location of Rl(bta-of-Wa7 
and Transmission Facllltlesi see also Virginia Code S 56-259 (1986), requiring public service corporations such 
as Colonial to consider the feasibility of locating new facilities on, over, or under existing easements and 
rlghts-cf-waj. 

12 



229 



In closing, I'd like to stress that when leaks occur, the pipeline 
operator is, in the final analysis, one of the most severely 
damaged parties. Certainly incidents such as the one we are 
discussing today cost millions of dollars of Colonial's money to 
correct, but, more importantly, they immeasuraOsly damage our 
corporate reputation. We try hard to prevent them. Colonial 
believes that the lessons of these incidents will likely be that 
federal, state and local governments can do much more to aid 
pipeline companies in their efforts to prevent third-party damage 
to interstate pipeline facilities. The efforts of pipeline 
operators to regularly patrol their lines and to have ground 
personnel deal directly with third parties who wish to encroach on 
pipeline rights of way are, of course, the first lines of defense. 
However, policies that provide swift and certain penalties against 
violators of one-call statutes, that ensure that only financially 
secure, reputzdsle contractors work near utility lines and that 
promote sensible land use policies near such lines, will aid in the 
prevention of these accidents. 



13 



230 



TESTIMONY BEFORE PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE 

Keith J. Buttleman 

Deputy Director for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs 

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 

May 18, 1993 

The Commonwealth of Virginia is vitally interested in the 
regulation of petroleum pipelines because of our experiences in 
Virginia with spills. I am here today to briefly discuss four 
recent incidents. 

On the morning of March 28, 1993 a section of the Colonial 
Pipeline near Herndon, Fairfax County, Virginia, ruptured, 
releasing diesel petroleum into the environment. The spill 
contaminated approximately 9 miles of Sugarland Run which empties 
into the Potomac. 

The Fairfax County Fire Department responded immediately and 
did an excellent job of initial damage control. The Virginia 
Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of 
Emergency Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and 
the Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Force responded Immediately, as did 
the pipeline company with their own personnel and several cleanup 
contractors . 

As described under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a Unified 
Command Structure was established between Fairfax Coxinty, the 
Department of Environmental Quality, and EPA to oversee emergency 
response . 

Initial activity focused on collecting the diesel fuel behind 
containment booms in Sugarland Run to prevent it from migrating 
downstreeun, and on recovering the product into tanker trucks. 
Protection of hviman health was an immediate priority and air 
quality monitoring of adjacent neighborhoods was conducted to 
assxire there where no immediate health risks. Residential wells 
were monitored to assure that grovmd water was not affected. 

Initial recovery efforts were successful, but were quickly 
hampered by a shortage of tanker trucks and locations to store 
recovered oil. High flow conditions in Sugarland Run and the 
Potomac and difficult access at the mouth of Sugarland Run also 
complicated recovery efforts. 

The public drinking water intake on the Potomac River which 
serves half of Fairfax Co. was closed because of oil sheen at the 
intake. Within 24 hours, animal recovery efforts were organized by 
the Fairfax Animal Control Department to collect and rehabilitate 
affected beaver and waterfowl. 

The Unified Conunand Post was required to maintain 24-hour 

1 



231 



operations for the first week after the spill to oversee emergency 
cleanup. Ultimately, it appears that more than 400,000 gallons 
were released and the cause of the spill remains uncertain. 

The extent of environmental damage has yet to be fully 
determined. Potentially sensitive wetlands have been affected. 
The Fairfax water Authority was forced to keep its Potomac facility 
closed for 11 days and had intermittent shutdowns following that. 
Preliminary indications are that the fish population in Sugarland 
Run was completely eliminated and most other aquatic communities 
were severely damaged. Damage assessment is continuing at this 
time. 

Colonial Pipeline is currently developing a plan for full 
remediation of Sugarland Run under the direction of County, State, 
and Federal Authorities. At this time it is uncertain what will be 
required or how long the cleanup will take. It appears that there 
is no longer an immediate threat to residents and the emergency 
phase has ended. 

This spill is one of a series of pipeline releases which the 
Commonwealth of Virginia has experienced in recent years. Since 
1985, at least four other major spills have released over 400,000 
gallons into state waters. 

On November 8, 1985, 120,750 gallons of heating oil was 
released due to a pipeline break in Chesterfield County. 
Approximately 93,000 gallons of product were actually lost into the 
James River, but extremely high flood conditions mitigated any 
adverse environmental effects. 

A pipeline rupture near Locust Grove, Orange County, resulted 
in 212,000 gallons of kerosene being released into Mine Run and 
ultimately the Rapidan River and the Rappahannock River. This 
spill on December 18, 1989 resulted in the City of Fredericksburg's 
water intake being shut down for nine days (the City had been 
similarly affected during a Colonial Pipeline break in March, 
1980) . 

In June, 1990, a line brezUc caused by deunage to the pipeline 
by a backhoe spilled 84,000 gallons of /2 fuel oil into a farm pond 
in Chesterfield County. Almost all of the product was contained in 
the pond and was eventually recovered. 

Finally, in August, 1990, a pipeline rupture in City of 
Chesapeake spilled 67,200 gallons of marine diesel into Drum Creek 
(a tributary of the Elizabeth River) and affected a considerable 
area of tidal wetlands. 

This history of repeated spills by petroleum pipelines has 
caused the Commonwealth to be gravely concerned over the adec[uacy 
of pipeline regulations. On April 1, 1993, after personally 



232 



touring the area affected by the recent spill in Fairfax Coxinty, 
Governor Wilder directed the State to actively pursue all possible 
avenues to strengthen pollution prevention requirements for 
petroleum pipelines. States must have a substantive role in these 
regulations in order to protect our public interests. 



233 



The following information is provided concerning three 
significant Colonial Pipeline spills in Virginia that have 
occurred in recent years: 

1. On November 8, 1985 at about 7:30 a.m., a rupture in 
Colonial Pipeline's 16 inch pipeline at the Exxon Bulk 
Storage Facility in Chesterfield County resulted in 2,875 
barrels (120,750 gallons) of fuel oil being released. State 
personnel were informed of the incident by the Chesterfield 
Fire Department at 1:00 p. m. and responded to the site. 
Colonial Pipeline personnel and a cleanup contractor were on 
site when State Water Control Board staff arrived. Most of 
the product lost was spilled into the James River at the 
time of the initial release; no instream cleanup was 
undertaken and no adverse effects were noted because the 
river was at extremely high flood stage at this time. 
Cleanup actions on shore were conducted by the responsible 
party at the direction of the State. In the end, 685 
barrels (27,636 gallons) were recovered, and an estimated 
2190 barrels (93,114 gallons) were lost into the James 
River. On-site recovery from contaminated ground water was 
undertaken, and these efforts continued until late 1988. 
Colonial Pipeline concluded that the rupture was the result 
of damage to the pipe by other parties. 

2. A rupture in the 32 inch pipeline operated by Colonial 
Pipeline near Locust Grove, Orange County on December 18, 
1989, caused 5,043 barrels (212,000 gallons) of kerosene to 
be released into Mine Run. The break occurred at 10:27 
a.m., and the actual location of the problem was determined 
by Colonial Pipeline at 1:00 p.m.; the State Water Control 
Board was notified by Colonial at 3:30 p.m. and responded 
immediately. Colonial had initiated containment measures 
with their own personnel and had mobilized a cleanup 
contractor. Cleanup and removal was generally overseen by 
the State Water Control Board, but the Environmental 
Protection Agency did inspect the site periodically. 
Weather greatly complicated the cleanup activities when a 
severe storm flushed an estimated 84,000 gallons out of Mine 
Run into the Rapidan River and ultimately the Rappahannock 
River. The presence of petroleum in the Rappahannock River 
necessitated the closing of the City of Fredericksburg water 
supply intake for nine days. A Corrective Action Plan was 
developed to address ground water contamination at the spill 
site; these remediation efforts are now nearly completed. 
The cause of this rupture was determined to be a structural 
failure of the pipe as a result of stresses experienced 
during shipping. 

3. On August 30, 1990, a Colonial Pipeline delivery line in the 
City of Chesapeake ruptured and 67,200 gallons of marine 
diesel fuel was spilled into Drvun Point Creek. The event 
probably occurred before midnight, April 29, but was not 



234 



confirmed by field inspection until 1:00 a.m., April 30. 
Product flowed in a ditch paralleling an abandoned railroad 
right-of-way into a marsh area that constitutes the 
headwaters of Drum Point Creek. Colonial personnel and 
cleanup contractors were on-scene soon after the release was 
discovered. U. S. Coast Guard and the State Water Control 
Board were involved in directing the cleanup activities. 
Approximately 47,000 gallons of product were recovered. 
Wetland eureas were considerably impacted by this spill. A 
final Corrective Action Plan to address soil and ground 
water contamination at the spill site has not been 
developed. Colonial Pipeline claims that this rupture was 
the result of third party deunage to the line. 



235 



STATEMENT OF THOMAS M. DAVIS. III. CHAIRMAN. FAIRFAX 

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON 

INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON 

PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION. MAY 18, 1993 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, ray name is 
Tom Davis. Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of 
Supervisors, and I thank you for this opportunity to discuss 
issues and facts related to the recent rupture of the 
Colonial Pipeline in northwestern Fairfax County. I wish to 
especially thank Congresswoman Leslie Byrne for her 
initiative in bringing this matter before you. 

On Sunday. March 28. 1993, at approximately 9:10 a.m.. 
Fairfax County. Virginia Fire and Rescue Department units 
responded to the report of a petroleum release near the rear 
of the Reston Hospital Medical Center in the Hunter Mill 
District. The release was thought to have originated from 
one of Colonial Pipeline Company's petroleum transmission 
lines along Fairfax County's western end. The source of the 
release was later confirmed to be Colonial's 36" pipeline, 
which at the time of failure was carrying #2 fuel oil, a 
product commonly used for home heating. 

At the site, our emergency units found petroleum product 
pooling in a nearby storm retention pond, covering portions 
of adjacent parking lots, and extending through a combination 



236 



Page 2 



of storm drainage pipes and wetlands into and down Sugarland 
Run leading north towards the Potomac River. 
Emergency units guickly moved to: 

1) contain as much of the product as possible at the 
origination site, 

2) determine the extent of the release. 

3) request assistance from responsible agencies, and 

4) attempt to contain and control the product migrating 
via Sugarland Run to the Potomac River. 

Within an hour, first responders were joined by 
officials from Colonial Pipeline, and subsequently by 
Colonial contractors, local officials from the Town of 
Herndon and Loudoun County, as well as Federal and state 
representatives. Over 40 local, state. Federal and private 
agencies were notified and were operating on the scene within 
the first six hours of the incident. 

By managing the incident through clearly defined 
objectives and a unified command, resources were effectively 
employed over the next eight days to control and recover a 
large portion of the estimated 407.000 gallons of fuel oil 
that were released. We believe this is a model example of 
local, state. Federal, and private cooperation that allowed 
us to respond well in very difficult and sudden circumstances 



237 



Page 3 

Although the emergency phase of this incident has ended, 
we are left with unsettling questions about its cause as well 
as the lessons to be taken from our experience. The incident 
on March 28 is the third time in the last 13 years that a 
petroleum pipeline has released a significant amount of 
product in Fairfax County creating public health, safety, and 
environmental concerns. In each incident lives have been 
disrupted, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent 
on clean-up, and extensive investigations of cause and effect 
have been performed. Our experience with these incidents 
leads us to conclude that more effort needs to be focused on: 

1) prevention 

2) detection of leaks while they are still small, and 

3) reducing the volume of product that can be released 
following a failure. 

The regulation of interstate pipelines is clearly a 
Federal responsibility. I understand that Federal officials 
are investigating this incident, and I strongly urge that 
they use the information learned from this and other pipeline 
failures to greatly strengthen pipeline regulations and 
improve inspection and monitoring of pipeline installations 
and operations. 



238 



Page 4 

We specifically suggest that the Department of 
Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety beef up the types, 
intervals, and methods of pipeline inspections. This should 
include giving authority to local governments to inspect and 
monitor construction and repair of pipelines following 
Federal standards, "Smart pigs" and "caliper pigs" that 
detect abnormalities in the thickness of a pipeline wall 
should be mandated at regular intervals for all sizes of main 
and lateral lines. Minimum standards should be set for 
abnormalities discovered through "pigging" to assure closer 
inspection and/or repair. In some cases it may be 
appropriate to reguire that the damaged line be uncovered. 
Additional inspection by means of internal or external 
devices should be reguired for any repaired or adjacent 
section of pipeline to assure pipe and weld integrity before 
the pipeline is returned to service. 

More precise technologies to monitor product flow should 
be mandated. Emphasis should be placed on detecting small 
cracks or other breaches before they become catastrophic. I 
understand these technologies have been employed along the 
Alyeska pipeline and in the nuclear industry. 

Particularly in densely populated areas such as Fairfax 
County pipelines should also be reguired to have additional 
control valves. For example, an additional estimated 100.000 



239 



Page 5 

gallons of product were discharged on March 28 after the 
pipeline was shut down. 

The pipeline industry has demonstrated an admirable 
safety record relative to other forms of petroleum 
transportation. However, that record is far from perfect. 
As painfully demonstrated by the March 28 Colonial release, 
an incident of this kind poses serious consequences. We 
believe the cost of prevention is less and a better 
investment than the cost of clean-up. 

As bad as this incident was. can we imagine, for 
example, the result had the released product been gasoline 
rather than fuel oil? The consequences could have been far 
more grave and in addition to all that happened, we might be 
talking today about massive evacuations, potential 
explosions, and acute dangers to life and property. We do 
not want that to occur in Fairfax County or anywhere else, 
and we hope that the Federal Government can improve its 
oversight of this very critical aspect of interstate commerce, 

In closing. I wish to express my deep appreciation to 
our Fairfax County agencies and employees for their prompt 
and professional response to this urgent problem. I also 
want to thank my colleague. Supervisor Bob Dix, who 



240 



Page 6 



represents the Hunter Mill District, for his outstanding 
leadership in helping bring the resources together to handle 
this emergency. I believe the consequences of this massive 
rupture would have been far worse in most other local 
communities that are simply not as well equipped or prepared 
to handle such a crisis. 

Thank you again for your concern by holding this 
hearing. I would be pleased to answer questions or furnish 
additional information for the record. 



241 

Testimony of John M. De Noyer, Ph.D. 

To the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

of the 

U. S. House of Representatives 

Committee on Public Works and Transportation 



May 18, 1993 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

I am Dr. John M. De Noyer. I live at 600 Austin Lane in the Town of 
Hemdon, Virginia. I am a retired earth scientist with nearly 40 years of experience 
in a wide variety of roles in the Federal Government, academia, and the private 
sector. At the present time I am an elected member of the Hemdon Town Council 
and am serving in an appointed position as Chairman of the Fairfax County 
Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC). My background as a scientific 
observer, elected official of an impacted local jurisditrtion, and advisor to the Board 
of Supervisors on the environmental quality of Fairfax County, Virginia, forms the 
basis for the comments contained in this statement 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: 

The March 28, 1993, oil spill from the Colonial pipeline just outside the 
Hemdon Town limits dumped about 407,000 gallons of #2 fuel oil onto commercial 
properties near the spill site and through a storm drain into Sugariand Run. 
SugaHand Run flows along the eastern edge of Hemdon into stream valley parkland 
in Fairfax County, into Loudoun County, and into the Potomac River upstream 
from the water intake for the Corbalis water treatment plant The distance from the 
rupture location to the confluence with the Potomac River is about nine miles. 

A number of conditions reduced the environmental impact of this spill. First , 
the material spilled was No. 2 fuel oil. If gasoline had been being transported at the 
time, the danger from fire and the toxicity of the fumes would have been much 
greater Second, the ground was saturated with water. This saturated condition 
minimized the absorption and adsorption capability of soils in the stream valley. 
Third , the water table was high. Under these conditions, the majority of the 
groundwater flow was from the watertable into the stream. This direction of 



242 



groundwater flow was important because it minimized groundwater contamination. 
Fourth , the stream was at "full bank" stage. This prevented the floating oil from 
severely contaminating the stream bottom and since the stream was not at flood 
stage the oil did not spread out over the flood plain except in localized low areas or 
where impoundment structures such as beaver dams were present Fifth , cleanup 
and recovery operations were able to recover a significant part of the oil that spilled, 
reducing the amount that remained in the environment. Sixth , several heavy rains 
helped to flush residual oil from the stream valley. Seventh, the warmer weather 
has helped evaporate the volatile fractions of oiL 

At the present time, the upper reaches of Sugarland Run do not show signs of 
life. Crayfish that are usually abundant are absent Minnows are only present 
where tributaries are contributing fresh water to the stream. The macro- 
invertebrates that are essential to the food chain are absent Minnows are present 
farther downstream where Sugariand Run flows under Route 7. It is, however, not 
clear that the aquatic food chain is adequately reestablished to support them. 

Others are better qualified to comment on the environmental impacts on the 
Potomac River. The conditions that helped minimize the impact on Sugariand Run 
probably made it more difficult to protect the Potomac River. The short time 
between the spill and entry of oil into the river made it difficult to contain and 
recover the product before water supplies and ecological systems were threatened. 

There is little comfort to be gained from the natural conditions that reduced 
the environmental and societal impact of this spilL The spill might have happened 
at the end of the summer and the material spilled could have been gasoline. If this 
had happened we would have had a major catastrophe with probable fire, loss of 
human life, long-term health problems, and much more serious environmental 
impacts from both the spilled product and the essential cleanup methods. 

ECOLOGICAL RECOVERY: 

The first steps are to remove as much of the free product as possible. This 
has been done during the emergency phase of cleanup. The remaining oil is in the 
soil, vegetable matter along the stream, and possibly in the groundwater. 

The long-term effects are difficult to predict The effect of the oil on tree 
roots exposed along the stream and the effects of residual oil in the soils near trees 
may take months to years to become apparent These trees are important for bank 
stabilization and as habitat in Hemdon's Runnymede Park and in the county 
stream valley parks along Sugariand Run. There are several places where the 
stream did flow out of bank or oil was impounded. These areas remain 
contaminated. Highly contaminated soils near the spill site are being removed. No 
remedial action has been taken for the less contaminated soils along the stream. 
Removal of these soils or treatment with chemicals or steam cleaning would only 



243 



add to the environmental insult. Oil remaining in the soil will continue to seep out 
to the surface and constitute a continuing source of contamination until it is reduced 
to an insignificant level. This could take many months or even several years. 

Fortunately, the method for treating these less contaminated soils is well 
known. It is called bioremediation. The technique uses naturally occurring 
microbes that have adapted to using petroleum products as a food source. The 
microbes break the petroleum products down into harmless products. The method 
of application is to spray a slurry containing microbes and nutrients (fertilizer) on 
the affected areas. The microbes multiply rapidly and consume the petroleum 
products. This method works best during warm weather and under moist 
conditions. The conditions along Sugarland Run are ideal for bioremediation 
during the summer months. Bioremediation can be expected to accelerate the 
removal of hydrocarbons by a factor of three to twenty. When the oil is gone the 
microbes die. They do not harm anyone while alive or dead. 

I recommended bioremediation as the preferred approach at a meeting on 
remediation planning soon after the spill and again at a preliminary meeting of the 
Sugarland Run Task Force on April 8, 1993. At the first regular meeting of the 
Sugarland Run Task Force on May 3, 1993, Colonial reported that their 
environmental consultant was studying the method and other alternatives. The 
EPA coordinator stated that they may try a pilot project. The summer will be over 
by the time a pilot project is planned, implemented, and evaluated. No one denies 
that the method works. The excuse seems to be that the fertilizer applied with the 
microbes might cause algae blooms in the Potomac This is nonsense! The amount 
of fertilizer applied is small and the areas where application are needed are limited. 
Water quality monitoring in the stream can be used to measure any significant 
increases in nitrogen or phosphorous. If increases are observed, the amount of 
fertilizer can be reduced before any harmful affects occur. The amount of fertilizer 
runoff from improper spring lawn fertilization will greatly exceed any additional 
runoff from bioremediation. In the meantime, we have lost at least a month of 
valuable time for effective removal of hydrocarbons from Sugarland Run . It should 
have been possible to have most of the oil removed by the end of the summer, but 
this may no longer be possible because of procrastination. 

The Treatment Technologies Work Group met on May 12, 1993, to discuss 
bioremediation methods. Colonial's environmental consultant recommended an 
approach to bioremediation that would add nutrients to the soil by applying mulch, 
tilling the soil, and using hydroseeding or other methods to stabilize the soil. The 
proposal was to apply this technique to three locations as pilot projects. The 
proposed locations were an upland area near the spill site (wooded but future 
highway right-of-way), a wooded wetlands area where the spill flowed into 
Sugarland Run, and a partially wooded location in Algonkian Park where 
Sugarland Run flows into the Potomac. Open field methods and equipment are not 
realistic in wooded, rocky terraine and ecologically sensitive areas. The prospect of 



244 



increasing the erosion potential by tilling the soil in the stream valley and 
introducing alien species into natural park woodlands met with strong objections. 
In addition, a contaminated area in Runnymede Park where the stream flowed out 
of bank because of a beaver dam obstruction was not included in the 
recommendation. The EPA Coordinator instructed Colonial and their 
environmental consulUnt the revise the plan to use low-impact topical application of 
commercial microbes and fertilizer in the wooded stream valley and to add the 
location that had been identified in Runnymede Park. There was also general 
agreement that the term "pilot project" should be replaced with "initial 
implemenUtion" and that other localities will be added as they are identified. 
Hopefully, a bioremediation program can get started in early June. 

It is ironic that an effective remediation program takes so long to develop 
and implement in contrast to the efficient and effective containment and recovery 
effort of the emergency phase following this oil spill. Future contingency planning 
needs to consider follow-on requirements and organizational structure for 
remediation and recovery as well as initial cleanup activities. 

Once the oil is removed as a source of continuing contamination the stream 
can start its true recovery as an ecological system. The food chain will have to be 
reesUblished for all of the life forms that were present before the spilL The presence 
of a few species does not signal recovery. It only indicates that the process is 
progressing. Full recovery of the ecological system may take three or more years if 
bioremediation is used. Longer if bioremediation is postponed or not used. 

Runnymede Park in Hemdon has been designated as a nature park. Our 
intention has been to use the park as a nature education resource. We will continue 
to pursue this objective. The lessons, however, will be different Now we will be 
emphasizing how the human race can destroy the environment and how ecological 
systems respond and recover if we act responsibly. The most important lesson may 
be learning that attention to prevention is critical and that our actions cause serious 
problems for both the natural environment and ourselves (<.& protecting our water 
supply and air quality). 

PIPELINE FAILURES: 

Our society has become dependent on the use of large quantities of 
hydrocarbon products. This will continue until this finite supply diminishes to the 
point that supply can no longer meet demand. There is no doubt that pipelines are 
much safer than most forms of surface transportation for transporting large 
amounts of petroleum products. It is also true that when a pipeline ruptures the 
potential exists for a major disaster. This is analogous to aircraft travel. 
Statistically, it is a lot safer to fly than to ride in an automobile, but when a large 
passenger plane crashes the loss of life is usually great. 



245 



1 here are many possible causes for pipeline failure. These included faulty 
materials, improper installation, damage during installation, damage after 
installation, deterioration of the metal in the pipe due to abrasion and electrolytic 
action, and earth movements such as earthquakes and landslides. All of these causes 
should be preventable except for earth movements if adequate inspections, quality 
control, and monitoring are carried out The hazards of earth movements can be 
minimized by careful attention to the geologic conditions where the pipeline is 
placed and use of cutoff valves to minimize the amount of potential spills where 
hazardous geologic conditions can not be avoided. Why then do so many pipeline 
accidents occur? The answer seems to be that insufficient care is exercised in the 
planning, siting, construction, and operation of the pipelines. 

Public Law 102-508, the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992, amended several 
previous pipeline safety acts for gas and oil pipelines. This act recognizes high- 
density population areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and the need for using 
internal inspection devices. The Secretary of Transportation is to provide 
regulations not later than three years after the date of enactment I hope that the 
Secretary will provide these regulations in less than the three years specified in the 
act No regulations had been provided four years after another pipeline safety act in 
1988. The pipelines are getting older and will be increasingly susceptible to failure. 
More high-density population areas are being built in locations that are close to 
pipelines. Environmentally sensitive areas are already subject to many pressures — 
they don't need oil spills on top of everything else. 

INTERNAL INSPECTION - SMART PIGS: 

The GAO report "Natural Gas Pipelines, Greater Use of Instrumented 
Technology Can Improve Safety" (GAO/RCED-92-237) discusses the use of smart 
pigs for both gas and liquid pipelines. The two types of smart pigs that are available 
are magnetic flux and ultrasonic The magnetic flux pigs provide qualitative 
information about the condition of the pipe. The ultrasonic pigs have the capability 
to measure the wall thickness and provide quantitative information. Both types of 
pigs probably have their uses, but the ultrasonic pig should provide the most 
relevant and needed information concerning the condition of the pipe. Colonial has 
informed me that the ultrasonic pigs that are available for larger pipe diameters (32 
inch and larger) do not provide reliable results. I have verified this through other 
sources. I have had the opportunity to examine proprietary reports of results from 
two major oil companies that have had excellent results from using ultrasonic pigs 
for smaller diameter pipelines. There is no reason that an ultrasonic pig can not be 
developed for larger diameter pipes. The deficiency in one of the existing large 
diameter smart pigs appears to be in the signal processing technology that is used. 
A concerted effort needs to be made to develop a reliable and functional ultrasonic 
pig for the larger diameter pipelines. 



246 



RECOMMENDATIONS: 



1. The Secretary of Transportation should provide regulations in response to 
Public Law 102-508 ahead of the three year mandated period. 

2. The spacing of shut-off valves in environmentally sensitive and high-density 
population areas needs to be examined closely. Cutoff valves should be spaced 
close enough so that emergency response teams can effectively respond and 
control the volume of oil that may be spilled. A spill of 407,000 + gallons in a 
high-density population and environmentaUy sensitive area is inexcusable. 

3. Internal inspection of pipelines of all diameters needs to be conducted on a 
regular schedule. Oversight of these inspections needs to be provided by parties 
that do not have a vested interest in the results and the results of the testing need 
to be reported. 

4. Ultrasonic smart pigs for large diameter pipelines need to be developed that are 
of equal reliability to the ultrasonic pigs for smaller diameter pipelines. 

5. All major pipelines, especially those that pass through high-density population 
areas and environmentally sensitive areas should be constructed or modified 
with launching and recovery ports to accommodate smart pigs. 

6. Inspections during construction, modification, or repair of pipelines should be 
conducted by qualified inspectors who are not affiliated with the pipeline 
companies or their contractors. 

7. Site specific contingency plans should be developed by the pipeline companies 
for high-density population areas and environmentally sensitive areas. These 
contingency plans should include weather and stream conditions, rate of 
transport, type of material, access to points where effective collection and 
recovery are possible, organizations that will be involved, and public information 
networks. These contingency plans need to include options for remediation and 
recovery operations. 

8. Local jurisdictions need to organize and practice for hazardous materials 
incidents. Fairfax County was fortunate in having an excellent HAZMAT team. 
The rapid response of this team and its ability to establish an initial command 
system were essential in reducing the impact of this oil spilL 

9. Local jurisdictions need to exercise greater supervision and control when third 
party land disturbing or construction activities occur near existing pipelines. 
Unbiased inspectors should be present throughout any such construction and 
should be required to report any incident that might cause an immediate or 
delayed threat to pipeline integrity. 



247 



TESTIMONY OF JERRY J. GAREGNANI, CHAIRMAN 

FRIENDS OF SUGARLAND RUN 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 

SUB-COMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 

TUESDAY, MAY 18, 1993 



Good Afternoon, I am Jerry Garegnani Chairman of the Friends of Sugarland 
Run (FOSR). I appreciate this opportunity to share my group's view on the 
Colonial pipeline spill of fuel oil into the environmentally sensitive area of 
Sugarland Run In March, 1993. 

The Friends of Sugarland Run ,a sub-committee of the Audubon Naturalist 
Society, is a group of citizens and area business people who came together a 
year ago to protect one of the last natural areas in the heavily urbanized region 
of northern Fairfax and eastern Loudoun Counties. Our goal is to establish a 
continuous greenway along the ten mile Sugarland Run stream valley to 
support a diversity of wildlife and allow their migration from the Potomac River 
deep into Fairfax County. As part of a national greenway movement in this 
country, the FOSR intends to accomplish this with minimal public funds using 
volunteers to raise funds, perform monitoring, and provide necessary labor. In 
fact the FOSR had just, prior to the spill, received from the Conservation Fund a 
grant from the DuPont Greenways Award. 

As part of the effort to establish a greenway, we have spent time identifying 
threats to the habitats along Sugarland Run. We were lulled into thinking that 
the most significant threats were primarily from the heavy development in the 
watershed causing severe sedimentation and erosion problems degrading the 
ability of the stream to support the aquatic life which starts the food chain for a 
healthy habitat. Suddenly a threat we weren't even aware of destroyed the 
existing Sugarland Run ecosystem in a matter of hours by dumping over 
400,000 gallons of No. 2 Fuel Oil into the stream. 

There are several aspects of this disaster that are now apparent and which we 
find disturbing due to the lack of adequate controls and potential for re- 
occurrence of a spill. 

• Lack of regular internal inspection of the pipeline to measure wall 
thickness using "smart Pigs". The technology for this exists but is not 
being applied. 

• Lack of post construction inspections. Colonial was aware of the 
construction at the Reston Hospital site and even excavated the pipe to 
aid in its protection but. they did not visually inspect the pipe before it 
was re-buried. 



248 



• Lack of adequate shut off valves leaving vast distances between 
valves. Even though the pipeline was shut down almost immediately 
after the burst occurred, over 400.000 gallons were dumped into the 
stream. 

• The pipeline which burst in March usually carries gasoline. If the 

spill would have been of 400,000 gallons of gasoline with its explosive 
potential and high levels of carcinogens, the disaster would have 
been terribly worse. 

These weaknesses reflect decisions made by Colonial for which no Federal 
guidance, regulations, or negative incentives exist to adequately protect 
environmentally sensitive areas. The decisions made by Colonial were based 
upon their economic feasibility with regard to profitability. This is to be expected 
from a free enterprise system and I'll be the first to say its the best system in the 
world. However, it depends upon some level of control to make up for the gap 
between the good of the corporation and the overall public good. This disaster 
cleariy points out that the gap between corporate and public good is not being 
adequately addressed by interstate pipeline safety controls or negative 
incentives. 

The hundreds of us who live along Sugarland Run place a very high value on 
the recreation and aesthetic quality of the stream valley in our back yards. 
Unfortunately, that value does not have associated with it a dollar price tag. On 
the other hand, it is very easy for a pipeline company to calculate the cost 
associated with a spill in lost product and fines, to apply a risk factor, and decide 
not to address known weaknesses in their system. This decision causes the 
citizens near the pipeline to carry the burden of risk and, if an accident occurs, 
the value lost by the citizens essentially goes to subsidize the pipeline 
company. It is tme that if pipeline companies were forced to respond to more 
government control, the price for their products would go up; however, instead 
of the citizens who live near the pipeline subsidizing the real cost of 
dependence on these products, the cost would be evenly spread among all the 
users of the product. There is also a long term benefit to this, as members of the 
committee probably know, higher energy costs drive technology for cleaner and 
cheaper energy. 

A significant amount of money is now being spent to clean up Sugariand Run. 
Had that money been spent in prevention instead of post-accident clean up, we 
citizens would still be enjoying our stream valley instead of trying to keep our 
kids away from the stream, assessing the affects on property values, and 
worrying about when the pipeline may dump gasoline into the stream. 

In Summary, from those of us who have lost something of great value, we ask 
this committee to consider more stringent regulations and fines to prevent 
continued destnjction of our diminishing natural areas. Thank you for this 
opportunity to express our views. 



249 



o^^\ National 

I^Pl^° IVansportatiiMi 

'^'"'^ Safety Board 

Safety Information Washington, dc. 20594 



Testimony of 

Christopher A. Hart, Member 

National Transportation Safety Board 

before the 

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

Committee on Public Works and Transportation 

House of Representatives 

regarding the 

March 28, 1993. Colonial Pipeline Ruptiire 

May 18. 1993 



250 



Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. I ^>preciate the 
opportunity to appear on behalf of the National Transpodation Safety Board to discuss our 
ongoing investigation into the March 28, 1993, Colonial Pipeline Company accident in Northern 
Virginia. 

As this panel knows, the National Transportation Safety Board is an independent agency 
charged with investigating transportation accidents, determining their probable cause(s), and 
proposing safety recommendations to prevent their recurrence. The Safety Board also conducts 
safety studies and evaluates the effectiveness of the programs of other government agencies and 
companies in the transportation industries for preventing transportation accidents. 

Liquid pipelines transport about 54 percent of our Nation's petroleum products, and when 
released during accidents they may cause a significant impact to our safety and the environment, 
wildlife, other transportation activities, and community water suppUes. Recent liquid pipeline 
accidents have emphasized that while they do not cause large numbers of human casualties (five 
in 1992, according to preliminary figures), they result in millions of dollars in environmental 
damages, disruptions to communities, and other losses. 

Historically such losses were not considered in developing safety standards for detecting 
abnormal pipeline operations or for developing systems for minimizing the quantity of products 
released from pipeline failures. This changed with the enactment of the Pipeline Safety Act of 
1992, which added environmental protection as an objective when establishing minimum Federal 



251 



2 

safety standards for {Hpdine tranqxHiation. This Act also authorizes the Safety Board to 
investigate and report on jripeline accidents that involve significant environmental damage. 

Consequently, Safety Board investigations are being targeted to better define and 
document safety improvements needed to identify pipe failure occurrences earlier, and to control 
petroleum product pipeline spHls more quickly in order to reduce societal losses. 

The recent Colonial Pipeline Company pipeline rupture accident and the resultant oil spill 
in Virginia offer a unique opportunity to study and assess these very issues. 

At 8:48 a.m., on March 28, 1993, a 36-inch outside diameter pipeline owned and 
operated by Colonial Pipeline Company ruptured in Hemdon, Virginia, adjacent to and 
immediately behind the Reston Hospital Physicians Office Building. At the point of rupture, the 
top of the pipeline was about 8 feet below the surface. At 8:49 a.m. the company's controller 
in its Atlanta control center received an alarm on the supervisory control and data acquisition 
(SCAD A) system indicating low suction pressure on Colonial's Line 3. The alarm was received 
from the company's Dorsey Junction, Maryland pump station (Dorsey Station). The pipeline ran 
firom a station in Chantilly, Virginia to Dorsey, Maryland. 

At 8:50 a.m., the controller in Atlanta transmitted commands to close remotely operated 
valves and shut down pump units 1 and 3 at Chantilly. Due to low suction, two pump units at 



252 



3 
the Dorsey Station automatically shut down at 8:S1 a.in. At 8:52 a.ni., the Chantilly discharge 
valves were shut off and the Chantilly block valve was closed at 8:54 a.m, both by the controller 
in Atlanta, Georgia. The Dorsey Station operator remotely closed the Dorsey Station suction 
valve at 8:53 a.m. 

Colonial Pipeline's remote control valves on Line 3, the segment of pipeline that ruptured, 
were spaced 45 miles apart at the Chantilly and Dorsey stations. There are also manually 
operated block valves between the remote control valves located on the Virginia side and the 
Maryland side of the Potomac River. Local Colonial employees drove to the manually operated 
block valves in Virginia and Maryland located downstream of the pipeline rupture and closed 
them to further isolate Line 3. 

The 45 miles of pipeline are estimated to have a capacity of 12.4 million gallons (295,000 
barrels). The Colonial Pipeline Company has provided an estimate to the Safety Board that 
407,000 gallons (9,700 barrels) of No.2 fiiel oil escaped from the ruptured pipeline, of which 
87 percent of the fuel oil has been recovered. 

The pipeline rupture area was located in a north-south oriented utility right-of-way that 
parallels the edge of the parking lot behind the medical office building. Within this right-of-way 
are overhead power lines, a 48-inch water line, a 20-inch gas line. Colonial's Lines 3 and 4, and 
a run-off pond for the parking lot. The escaping fiiel oil from the pipeline rupture quickly filled 
the run-off pond and entered a storm drain that emptied into Sugarland Run Creek, ultimately 



253 



4 
flowing into the Potomac River. The spill that flowed into the Potomac River threatened the 
nearby water in-take for Fairfax County and the in-take was subsequently closed. Citizens in the 
immediate spill area were also evacuated. 

When the pipeline was excavated after the accident, large boulders and rocks on and 
around the pipeline could be seen. The boulders and rocks were removed during excavation. 
When the excavation reached the pipe, the 42-inch rupture on the top of pipeline was exposed. 
The damaged pipe section was photographically documented and an 18 1/3 foot section of the 
damaged pipeline was removed under Safety Board supervision and taken to our materials 
laboratory in Washington D.C. for further examination. 

The Safety Board's metallurgist's Actual report was recently completed and a copy of the 
report has been provided to the Subcommittee. The metallurgical examination of the 18 1/3 foot 
section of the pipeline found: 

► Mechanical damage (similar to a scrape) along the top of the pipeline in 

a longitudinal direction with a trace of metal deposits different in chemical 
properties from that of the pipe (the pipe surface was deformed from north 
to south); 

»• Two dents 1/2 and 1/4 inch deq) on the pipe section - one close to the 

rupture and the other away from the origin of the rupture; and 



254 



5 

► An overstress fracture near the outside wall., which was followed by 

fatigue progressing over time to an overall depth of one-third of the pipe 
wall thickness and a longitudinal length of S 1/4 inches. 

In summary, microscopic viewing of the damage is indicative of an object sliding 
longitudinally against the pipe in the southerly direction. No determination has been made as to 
the source of the longitudinal scrape. 

Several days after the accident, the Department of Transportation's Research and Special 
Programs Administration's (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety required Colonial Pipeline to expose 
and examine an additional 700 feet of Line 3 to search for additional damage along the medical 
office parking lot. During this examination, which was also observed by Safety Board staff, a 
dent on the bottom of the pipe was observed during the lifting of the pipeline. This pipe segment 
rested on protruding bedrock. 

The Board requested that Colonial remove this dented pipe section (a 16-inch segment of 
the pipe), which was located 28 feet downstream (north) of the accident rupture. This second 
piece of pipe was taken to the Safety Board's laboratory for further examination. The dent 
observed was about 3/4-inch deep and 10 inches across. 

The on-scene phase of the Safety Board's investigation has ended and we are now 
beginning to review the company's design and construction records. An assessment of the firm's 



255 



6 

previous pipeline accidents, as wdl as its operating and maintenance history, is also underway. 
The issues the Safety Board is examining as part of our ongoing investigation are the adequacy 
of: 

» Intonal electromagnetic, ultrasonic, and other pipeline inspections, their 

utilization by the Colonial Pipeline Company, and existing requirements 
for their use; 

► In^>ections during pipeline installation and when subsequent 
construction and maintenance is being performed adjacent to a 
pipeline; 

- Remotely operated and automatic shut off valves and their spacing; 

► Early leak detection procedures and their performance in conjunction with 
supervisory control and data acquisition systems; 

► Structural integrity of the pipeline for designated service; and 

► Federal oversight of Colonial Pipeline Company activities in federal safety 
standards enforcement. 



256 



7 

As the Subcommittee knows, these are not new issues of concern to the Safety Board. 
Safety recommendations have called for the correct and timely use of appropriate in-line pipeline 
internal inspection equipment since 1987. The Safety Board has also issued recommendations 
concerning the installation of remotely operated valves on pipelines to enable the prompt isolation 
of those sections that pass through highly populated areas. 

The Safety Board again thanks the Subcommittee for the opportunity to testify, and I 
would be pleased to answer any questions the panel may have. 



257 



STATEMENT OF ROSE A. MCMURRAY 

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR 

RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 

May 18, 1993 

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommittee. I 
2un pleased to appear before you today to testify on behalf of 
Secretary Pena and the Department of Transportation concerning 
important issues arising out of the Colonial Pipeline Company 
spill of diesel fuel on March 28, 1993, into Sugarland Run in 
Fairfax County, Virginia. Appearing with me is George W. Tenley, 
Jr., Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety. 

My testimony follows the format presented in the Subcommittee's 
letter requesting the Department's appearance. 



I. Overview 

The mission of the pipeline safety program of the Research and 
Special Programs Administration (RSPA) , administered by RSPA's 
Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) , is "To protect the people and 
the environment of the United States through a comprehensive 
pipeline safety progreun that includes effective risk management, 
thorough pipeline operator compliance, high quality training and 
a strong, balanced federal state partnership." 
Our oversight responsibility covers transportation by pipeline of 



258 



natural gas to 55 million residential and commercial customers, 
and transportation of 25 percent of the nation's intercity 
freight, consisting of over 605 billion ton miles annually of 
petroleum and other materials. 

Our goal continues to be assuring the highest level of public 
safety and environmental protection at a cost commensurate with 
real risk. Our primary strategy is emphasizing prevention of 
accidents and spills by stringent design and construction 
standards, operational practices which maintain pipeline 
integrity, adequate monitoring and leak detection systems, and 
emergency response procedures that mitigate consequences to the 
maximum degree practicable. The Colonial incident demonstrates 
the value of new construction inspections. If we had been atole 
to be on scene in 1980 at the time the Colonial 36 inch line was 
constructed, we could have assured that our construction 
standards had been properly followed and we would have a better 
understanding today as to the cause of the accident. However, 
with only two inspectors in 1980 for the entire Eastern Region, 
we could inspect only a very small number of new construction 
projects. 

We face a nxiaber of challenges as the stewards of the pipeline 
program. Including increased pxiblic, state, and Congressional 
demands for more safeguards; increased importance of 
environmental protection; an aging infrastructure; increasing 



259 



population development encroaching on pipeline rights-of-way; and 
financial pressures on the industry to control costs. 

Historically, accidents like the recent Colonial spill in Fairfax 
County, Virginia, have given rise to increased pipeline safety 
legislation, as well as recommendations from the National 
Transportation Safety Board and the General Accounting Office. 
While these accidents have provided valueJsle lessons and led to 
improved standards and practices, RSPA believes that we must now 
focus our attention on the relative risks of all potential causes 
attributed to pipeline accidents and their probeibility of 
occurrence. RSPA believes strongly that more reliable data are 
needed to form the basis for credible decision making and risk 
management . 

II. Prooreun Operation 

This is a time of transition for the pipeline safety progreun, as 
we work toward managing the program on the basis of comprehensive 
risk assessment and allocating resources to implement program 
priorities accordingly. The progreun has six areas of operational 
focus which are each increasingly risk-based in approach: 

1) Through Data Analvsis and Information Svstems. we are 
attempting to make full use of available information systems 
technology to juialyze and predict risk and set safety and 



260 



environmental priorities. We are redesigning outdated 
organizational structures and work processes, including 
decentralizing operations, reassessing inspection priorities, 
streamlining accident investigations and upgrading information 
systems . 

2) Pipeline Research and Development primarily supports the 
development of regulations, compliance, and training. We are 
identifying new technologies which have a high potential for risk 
reduction and a positive cost benefit ratio; striving to identify 
high population density and environmentally sensitive geographic 
areas that require more stringent prevention measures; and 
finalizing development of a risk assessment model. 

3) Through our Regulatory Program , we evaluate safety and 
environmental problems and develop regulations or alternatives to 
regulations that assure safety in the design, construction, 
operation, and maintenance of pipelines. We are prioritizing 
rulemakings and studies to assure prompt action on those with the 
potential for preventing the greatest risks with the least impact 
practicable on industry. Our criteria for prioritizing our work 
include accident statistics, trends, and system-wide problems 
that show up in more than one operator's facilities. Some 
alternatives to rulemaking include alert notices, advisory 
bulletins, technical assistance, and public education. 



261 



4) The foundation of the Compliance Proareun has been risk-based 
for several years, allowing RSPA to direct its inspection 
resources to those problem areas for which an accident would 
likely have significant consequences on public safety or the 
environment. We inspect all pipelines under Federal jurisdiction 
within a three to five year cycle and higher-risk pipelines more 
frequently. Once new regulations mandated by law become 
effective (e.g., low- stress hazardous liquid pipelines), the 
inventory of pipelines subject to Federal jurisdiction will 
increase about 50 percent. 

Existing Federal resources alone will not adequately ensure the 
safe operation of pipeline facilities, given the size of the 
regulated community and the complexity of operations. State 
adoption and enforcement of Federal pipeline regulations under an 
annual certification program result in a uniform nationwide 
progreun. While the gas and hazardous liquid pipeline safety laws 
authorize grant funds to reimburse states up to 50 percent of the 
actual cost of state programs, appropriations for the last 
several years have permitted funding of approximately 35 percent 
for state gas programs, and 26 percent for state hazardous liquid 
progrzuns. .The allocation formula emphasizes state program 
performemce. Our regional staff monitors euid supports states in 
striving to improve their progreuns. 

5) Training and Information Dissemination are critical to ensure 



262 



that state regulatory and compliance personnel better understand 
and apply pipeline regulations. RSPA provides comprehensive 
information, guidance, and direction through formal training and 
technical assistance provided by the Department's Transportation 
Safety Institute in Oklahoma City. 

6) Emergency Response is an area where we are placing increased 
attention in the pipeline program. We are implementing new 
authority for the oversight of response planning by hazardous 
liquid operators mandated under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 
(OPA) , and working to determine what information on pipeline 
locations and operations would facilitate the work of emergency 
and environmental planners at the Federal, state, and local 
levels of government. We are evaluating how to provide this 
information in a user-friendly form through geographic 
information systems. We promote and support the National 
Response System, mandated by the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Clean Water 
Act, and the U. S. Coast Guard's National Response Center, which 
receives reports and initiates actions for the immediate response 
to incidents. 

III. Report on the Status of the mioniai Spill Investigation and 
Monitoring of Other Pipelines in thg Arga 

Last week, the NTSB released its metallurgical report covering 



263 



its analysis of the failed pipe involved in the Colonial spill. 
Our review of the Board's report leads us to conclude that the 
cause of the failure is mechanical damage. Neither OPS nor the 
Board is prepared at this time to conclude when the damage 
occurred . 

At the present time, the 36-inch pipeline that ruptured is in 
service at a pressure of 50 percent of its maximum operating 
pressure (a service pressure of approximately 325 psi) . This 
limitation was imposed on Colonial in an April 5, 1993 amendment 
to the Hazardous Facility Order RSPA issued to Colonial on March 
30, 1993. In accordance with the Amended Order, Colonial 
submitted a plan for the internal inspection of the pipeline 
using an instriimented device, commonly referred to as a "smart 
pig." After an initial review of that plan, OPS requested 
additional information in order to evaluate the plan fully. 
Following a meeting between Colonial representatives and OPS 
engineers, the Company provided answers to all questions posed by 
OPS. 

Since that time, OPS has met with companies that offer smart pig 
services to the pipeline industry to determine the proper device 
to run in the pipeline to find the type of conditions that 
existed on the failed pipeline (i.e., dents and gouges associated 
with mechanical damage) . We will meet with Colonial 
representatives next week to finalize the plan. As provided in 



264 



the Amended Order, Colonial will not be allowed to operate above 
the 50 percent pressure limitation until the pig data indicate it 
is safe to do so, and any anomalies are repaired appropriately. 

There are two other pipelines in the right-of-way through which 
the Colonial 36-inch line runs: a Colonial 32-inch petroleum 
products pipeline, and a Columbia Gas Transmission Company 20- 
inch natural gas pipeline. The 32-inch Colonial pipeline was 
excavated in the area of the failed 36-inch line, and, based on 
data from a pig run in 1987, one of two dents found was repaired 
with a full encirclement sleeve. The other dent was very 
shallow, had no gouges in it, and presented no concern as to the 
integrity of the line. 

The Columbia Gas line is approximately 150 feet away from the 
Colonial 36-inch line and would not have been sxibject to damage 
from the rupture of the Colonial line. However, because of the 
third-party excavation that occurred in the area, Colvunbia is 
reviewing its records of inspections it conducted at the time of 
that excavation to determine if the line could have been damaged. 
OPS will monitor the results of Columbia's review. 

IV. secretari al Program Review 

In the wake of the Colonial spill. Secretary Pefta directed a 
review of the adequacy of the pipeline program in providing 



265 



environmental protection. This review will provide a basis for 
assessing and prioritizing proposed actions to deal with the risk 
to the environment posed by hazardous liquid pipelines. As we 
take actions to meet the RSPA environmental mission, these 
actions must be weighed in balance with actions necessary to meet 
our public safety mission. Determining the proper balance will 
be critical to assuring the delivery of a comprehensive pipeline 
safety and environmental program within available resources. 

In accordance with the Secretary's direction, we are assessing 
programs which have the greatest potential to reduce risk, 
including regulatory actions, compliance initiatives, state 
programs, and implementation of OPA. 

o In the regulatory area, we are looking at the integrity of 

pipeline systems and the prevention or limitation of product 
loss. Specifically, in pending rulemakings we are 
considering hydrostatic testing, modification of pipelines 
to accept internal inspection devices, requirements for 
liquid operators to have deunage prevention progreuns, and 
regulating low stress lines. In addition, the Pipeline 
Safety Act of 1992 contains a provision on the use of 
emergency flow restricting devices and leak detection 
systems, subjects having a potential and direct relevance to 
the Colonial spill. 



266 



o In the compliance program, we are assessing means to reduce 
environmental risk through new areas of program emphasis. 
We are considering whether there is a need to redirect 
resources for more inspection time focused on liquid 
operators, new construction, and inspections in the field as 
opposed to headquarters facilities. 

o In state programs, we are evaluating the extent of state 
participation in the liquid program and assessing the 
potential for benefits from increased state involvement. 
Our focus is on determining how realistic it is to expect to 
enhance our field compliance presence and the nvimber of 
pipelines inspected by leveraging state resources. 

o In the OPA progreun, we believe that there may be 

opportunities for risk reduction by reaching out to industry 
to collaborate in a national effort to map pipelines. We 
are also determining if there are ways to better support the 
area contingency planning efforts to set environmental 
priorities. In addition, attention can be placed on low- 
stress pipelines, which have previously been unregulated, in 
the early phases of review of response plans. 

V. Addressing Mandates of the Pipeline Safetv Act of 1992 

In approaching implementation of the 14 rulemakings, several 

10 



267 



studies, reports, and other actions mandated by the Pipeline 
Safety Act of 1992, RSPA has prioritized those initiatives that 
address the greatest risk or the shortest mandated timeline. Our 
FY 1994 budget reflects an increase of $225,000 for studies to 
support regulatory development or possible alternatives to 
rulemaking and $275,000 for research and development initiatives. 
Highest priority studies to support regulatory activity would 
address: 



Installation by gas distribution operators of excess flow 
valves to mitigate the risk of explosion due to rupture of a 
gas service line; 

Qualification and training of pipeline personnel to assure 
their ability to recognize and react to eUDnormal operating 
conditions ; 

Definition of "gathering lines" and "regulated gathering 
lines" for the purpose of bringing these previously 
unregulated gas emd hazardous liquid pipelines under RSPA's 
regulations; 

Identification of pipeline facilities located in 
environmentally sensitive areas and high-density population 
areas, and maintenance of related maps; 

11 



268 



Inspection of underwater pipelines in shallow water outside 
the Gulf of Mexico, reporting on the proper abandonment of 
offshore pipelines, and the periodic inspection of all 
offshore pipelines that pose a threat; and 

Prescription of circumstances under which emergency flow 
restricting devices and leak detection systems should be 
used on hazardous liquid pipelines. 



Research and development studies to address reauthorization 
priorities would include a survey of the extent of replacement of 
cast iron pipelines and a study of local government codes and 
standards where customer-o%med service lines are located. 
Federal regulations do not cover customer-owned lines downstream 
of the customer meter, although such lines are covered in some 
states. 

VI. Conclusion 

Based on decisions the Secretary will make in reviewing our 
environmental progriUB, our priorities under the 1992 
reauthorization may, in consultation with Congress, be revised 
and are contingent on the availability of funding requested in 
the FY 1994 budget. 



12 



269 



To reduce the risk to public safety and the environment from 
pipelines, we must maximize the expertise available in 
government, industry, the environmental community, and academia. 
We must work together to understand emerging trends, solve safety 
and environmental problems, and set program priorities, based on 
real rather than perceived risk, within available resources. 

Because the problems are large and complex, and the mitigating 
resources limited, we must, to the degree possible, end the 
historical, and adversarial, paradigm of the regulator versus the 
regulated. RSPA, the states, and the industry must strive to 
pursue the same goals. This approach does not negate, but 
appropriately directs, the need for a strong Federal and state 
presence stimulating industry performance and providing oversight 
of industry regulatory compliance. 

Like the other witnesses testifying today, the Department of 
Transportation is very concerned about the Colonial spill and the 
issues it raises. We are prepared to take whatever practicable 
steps are necessary to lessen the risks posed by this 
indispenseible mode of transportation, and to do so in concert 
with the Congress, the states, environmental groups, and the 
industry. 

Thank you. 



13 



For Rdease od Delivery 
Expected 11 
l:00pjn.EDT 
Tuesday 
May 18. 1993 



270 



United Stotes Ggneril Accountim OtBcc 



(^ AjTJ Testimony 

Before die Subcommittee on Investigations 
and Oversight, Committee on Public Works 
House of Representadves 



PIPELINE SAFETY 

Use of Instrumented 
Technology to 
Inspect Pipelines 



Statement of Allen Li, 
Associate Director, Transportation Issues, 
Resources, Q>inmunity, and Economic 
Development Division 




GAO/T-RCED-93^1 



271 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Subcommittee's 
review of the March 28, 1993, pipeline Incident In Reston, 
Virginia, as It seeks to improve pipeline safety. Today we will 
discuss our report on the role that Instrumented Internal 
Inspection devices — called smart pigs — can play In Improving 
pipeline safety.^ Also, we will comment on the recent Reston 
incident. 

Pipelines provide a vital transportation service. 
Approximately one-half of the nation's supplies of crude oil and 
petroleum products, and virtually all natural gas supplies, are 
transported through a network of over 1.7 million miles of 
pipelines. The overall safety record of pipelines is relatively 
good in comparison with that of other modes that carry hazardous 
materials. However, the Reston incident serves as a reminder that 
Increasingly effective Inspection technologies should be 
continually sought. 

Our September 1992 report addressed the capabilities, 
limitations, costs, and regulations associated with the use of 
smart pigs in natural gas pipelines. While our report focused on 
natural gas pipelines, our findings on smart pig inspection 
capabilities have bearing on liquid pipelines as well. Our 
testimony also discusses various actions relating to pipeline 
safety that were taken after our report was issued. In addition, 
at your request, we will comment on ways pipeline safety can be 
enhanced to minimize the risk of incidents such as the Reston 
spill. 



^ Natural Gas Pipelines; Greater Use of Instrumented Inspection 
Technology Can Improve Safety (GAO/RCED-92-237, Sept. 28, 1992) 



272 



In summary, our work shows the following: 

— A smart pig Is the only pipeline Inspection technique that 
can detect Internal and external corrosion without 
excavating the pipe.' Pipeline corrosion Is the second 
leading cause of natural gas pipeline Incidents after 
damage caused by accidental excavation. While smart pigs 
can detect other pipe flaws such as gouges and dents, they 
cannot detect defects such as longitudinal cracks and metal 
loss In pipe welds. Furthermore, while many pipelines can 
accommodate smart pigs, others cannot because of 
operational limitations such as sharp bends In the 
pipeline. Companies responding to our survey reported the 
cost of using smart pigs per mile of on-stream pipeline 
ranged from $650 to $2,400 In 1991. 

— Currently, there are no federal regulations governing the 
use of smart pigs or the frequency of smart pig 
Inspections. Our September 1992 report recommended that 
the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Research and 
Special Programs Administration (RSPA) complete the 
feasibility study on smart pigs mandated by the Pipeline 
Safety Reauthorization Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-561). Also, 
we recommended that RSPA issue the regulations mandated by 
the act, which required new or replacement pipeline8--gas 
and liquid — to accommodate smart pigs. 



*Two types of smart pig technologies — magnetic-flux leakage 
measuring and ultrasonic — are used to detect corrosion. 
Magnetic-flux pigs are used for inspecting hazardous liquid and 
natural gas pipelines. Ultrasonic pigs are used for Inspecting 
liquid pipelines, because they require a liquid medium such as 
methanol, glycol, or water to operate. Ultrasonic pigs can be 
used, however, for Inspecting a natural gas pipeline, provided it 
is emptied first and refilled with a liquid medium. A magnetic- 
flux smart pig is Illustrated in app. I. 



273 



— In response to our recommendations, RSPA Issued the 
feasibility study in November 1992 and took actions to 
issue the regulations mandated by the 1988 act that could 
enhance the use of smart pigs. RSPA is now evaluating the 
comments received as a result of its proposed rulemaking. 

— Over the years, the National Transportation Safety Board 
(NTSB) has investigated numerous pipeline incidents and has 
made several recommendations for enhancing pipeline safety. 
For example, NTSB recommended that new or replacement 
pipelines be capable of accommodating smart pigs. 

— Aging pipelines are of concern because there is a higher 
risk that they will result in pipeline incidents. The 
Reston pipeline incident points out that even relatively 
newer pipelines are subject to failure. While the true 
cause of the failure is unknown at this time, that incident 
points out the need for pipeline companies to periodically 
inspect their pipelines to identify defects and flaws and 
take needed corrective action. We believe that smart pigs, 
in conjunction with other inspection techniques, and the 
NTSB recommended improvements can strengthen the federal 
strategy to ensure pipeline integrity and safety and 
minimize incident damage. 

BACKGROUND 

RSPA's Office of Pipeline Safety is responsible for 
developing, issuing, and enforcing safety regulations for more than 
1.7 million miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in 
the United States. RSPA has five Regional Pipeline Safety Offices 
with a total of 22 inspectors. RSPA's Eastern Region, which covers 
Virginia and 13 other states, has three inspectors. The Colonial 
Pipeline Company has a pipeline that transports refined petroleum 
products from Pasadena, Texas, to Linden, New Jersey. This 



274 



pipeline runs through three RSPA regions having a total of 12 
Inspectors. 

Most of the nation's natural gas pipelines were constructed In 
the 1950s and 1960s; 10 percent of the lines were constructed 
before 1950 and 9 percent before 1940. Comparable data on the age 
of hazardous liquid pipelines are not readily available. However, 
the majority of liquid lines were built after 1950. Although the 
pipeline industry has a reasonably good safety record, each year 
several hundred pipeline incidents occur. The safety of aging 
pipelines is of increasing concern. Older pipelines may exhibit a 
greater potential for leakage or rupture than newer lines because 
of pipe corrosion. Pipeline leakage can cause severe damage to 
human health, property, and the environment. 

From 1985 through 1992, 1,906 natural gas pipeline Incidents 
involving 146 fatalities and 721 injuries were reported to RSPA. 
By far, the leading cause of natural gas pipeline failure is 
accidental damage caused by excavation by third parties; the second 
leading cause is corrosion. ApE>endix II shows natural gas pipeline 
incidents for 1985 through 1992, and appendix III shows the causes 
of these incidents for 1992. For the same period, 1985 to 1992, 
1,591 hazardous liquid pipeline incidents involving 24 fatalities 
and 180 Injuries were reported to RSPA. The leading causes of 
hazardous liquid pipeline failure are corrosion and damage caused 
by outside forces, such as third parties. Appendix IV shows 
hazardous liquid pipeline incidents for 1985 through 1992, and 
appendix V shows the causes of these incidents in 1992. 

Pipelines must be protected while being transported and 
installed. During operations, pipelines must be protected from 
damage and degradation from other causes such as corrosion. 



275 



mechanical damage, fatigue, and stress-corrosion cracking.' 
Determining and maintaining the structural integrity and safety of 
natural gas pipelines and improving the baseline knowledge of their 
condition requires a combination of external corrosion controls and 
inspection techniques. 

He reported that pipeline inspection techniques include (1) 
visual inspection techniques, such as line walking and the use of 
light aircraft or helicopters to check for evidence of leaking; (2) 
x-raying pipe welds; (3) hydrostatic pressure testing;* and (4) 
placing a smart pig inside the pipe to record flaws as it is 
propelled by the product being transported. 

FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH USING SMART PIGS 

Our work showed that smart pigs can improve pipeline integrity 
and safety. However, they have certain capabilities and 
limitations associated with their use. Furthermore, companies we 
surveyed reported varying costs. 

Capabilities and Limitations of Smart Pios 

Smart pig technology is the only pipeline inspection technique 
available to detect internal and external corrosion without 
excavating the pipeline. Corroded areas and other pipeline flaws 
identified by smart pigs can be repaired or replaced before they 
rupture. Smart pig use also produces data on the metal integrity* 



'Such cracking is characterized by multiple longitudinally 
oriented tight cracks- -usually accompanied by poor or distorted 
coating in a coated pipeline. 

'Hydrostatic testing — forcing water through a pipeline at high 
pressure — provides data on the pipeline's operating pressure 
integrity and identifies significant pipeline defects by exposing 
the pipeline to pressure above its maximum operating pressure. 

^Soundness of the pipe's metal. 



276 



and condition of the pipeline. Without such data, it is not 
possible to evaluate the total integrity and safety of the 
pipeline. On the other hand, hydrostatic testing provides 
information on the pressure integrity of the pipeline. Hydrostatic 
testing identifies significant defects by causing the pipe segment 
to fail during testing. However, hydrostatic testing provides 
confidence in the pipeline's integrity and safety only at the time 
of the test. No information can be obtained about the extent or 
severity of any remaining corrosion damage or other existing 
pipeline flaws. Therefore, neither technique can be substituted 
for the other because each produces information unique within its 
own scope. An advantage of the smart pig technology is that it 
does not require emptying the pipeline of the product being 
transported, as hydrostatic testing does. Such emptying results in 
revenue loss to pipeline operators because operations are 
interrupted. Also, the water used in hydrostatic testing must be 
properly treated and disposed of. 

During the course of our work on smart pig technology, we 
received survey responses from 15 U.S. and 3 Canadian natural gas 
pipeline companies. Nine of the U.S. and all three Canadian 
companies reported success in using smart pig technology. 
Companies that had used smart pigs told us that the pigs identified 
corrosion pitting, mechanical damage, gouges, dents, and 
manufacturing defects, as well as the location of girth welds, 
valves, and bends in pipelines. Some companies also noted that 
smart pigs enabled them to rank repair work on the basis of the 
location and severity of problems Identified, minimize pipeline 
downtime, and plan effective maintenance. Other benefits cited 
were that smart pig usage minimizes costly loss of natural gas, 
ensures that the pipeline is being operated and maintained in a 
safe manner, and enables prospective sellers and buyers to evaluate 
the value of pipelines before sale or purchase of pipeline systems. 



277 



Companies also told us of limitations. They said that smart 
pigs could not identify metal loss in circumferential welds (where 
two ends of pipes are welded together) and longitudinal cracks 
(cracks that run the length of pipes). They also stated that smart 
pigs could not establish the integrity of external coatings, 
including the location of coatings that have separated from the 
pipe. We also found that neither the magnetic-flux nor the 
ultrasonic pig technologies had been sufficiently developed to 
locate potential pipe seam failure of electric-resistance-welded 
pipes.' We also found that smart pigs cannot be used to inspect 
all pipelines for several reasons: Some pipelines are not able to 
accommodate pigs due to sharp bends; valves that cannot be fully 
opened obstruct pig passage; and pipe walls are too thin. 

We found specific instances in which smart pig inspections of 
natural gas pipelines could improve pipeline integrity and safety. 
For example, in one case a smart pig inspection detected the 
presence of corrosion in a gas pipeline company's transmission 
line. However, no follow-up action was taken. This line 
subsequently ruptured, causing five deaths and property damage. 
According to the state gas pipeline safety office that conducted 
the Investigation, the incident could have been prevented had the 
company interpreted the data from the smart pig inspection as an 
impetus for corrective action. Another company found the use of 
smart pigs so successful that its current 20-year plan includes pig 
inspection of all of its lines. A third pipeline company 
voluntarily invested $100 million to make 9,000 miles of its 
pipelines "piggable" and has reported many advantages to the use of 
smart pigs . 

In terms of improvements they would like to see, companies 
responding to our survey specified data analysis and interpretation 



*A low frequency electric resistance welding method prevalent in 
the United States before the 19706. 



278 



of inspection logs, particularly for magnetic-flux pig technology. 
These companies told us that smart pigs should be Improved to 
enhance their ability to more accurately measure the depth and 
length of corrosion. The companies also desired improvements in 
data interpretation, such as more readable inspection logs, 
computerized analysis of the data on personal computers at the 
field level, and correlation of pig inspection logs with actual 
measurement of pipe anomalies obtained after excavation of the 
line. Several smart pig manufacturers told us that, over time, 
market demand would bring about such technology improvements. 

Cost of Using Smart Pigs 

Companies responding to our survey told us that the cost of 
using smart pigs depends on a number of variables, such as the type 
of smart pig used — first-generation or second-generation. In 
general, second-generation smart pigs have state-of-the-art 
technology and more advanced capabilities for detecting pipeline 
flaws. Some companies said they used first-generation smart pigs 
because of their availability and lower cost. Other companies used 
second-generation smart pigs because they are capable of providing 
more detailed data on pipe flaws. Other variables affecting cost 
cited by these companies include the diameter of the pipeline, 
cleanliness of the pipeline, length of pipeline for which the smart 
pig is used, level of competition among smart pig vendors, and the 
amount of data analysis and interpretation needed for the corrosion 
reported. Pipeline operators may incur other costs to excavate, 
inspect, and repair any pipe segments where a smart pig has 
indicated significant anomalies. 

These variables help to explain the broad range of costs 
reported by nine of the companies responding to our survey. The 
companies reported that the costs of using smart pigs per mile of 
on-stream pipeline ranged from $650 to $2,400 in 1991. The only 
company that provided detailed cost information on the use of smart 

8 



279 



pigs had used a second-generation pig. This company reported that 
the inspection cost of a first-generation smart pig is typically 
one-third to one-half of the inspection cost for a high-resolution, 
or second-generation, smart pig. 

REGtJLATIONS RELATED TO THE USE OF SMART PIGS 

To improve the safety of natural gas and hazardous liquid 
transmission pipelines, the Congress passed the Pipeline Safety 
Reauthorization Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-561, Oct. 31, 1988), directing 
DOT to (1) prepare a feasibility study on requiring the use of a 
smart pig to inspect transmission pipelines and (2) establish 
regulations requiring that new or replacement pipeline facilities, 
to the extent practicable, be capable of accommodating smart pigs. 
As we will discuss later, the Congress more recently passed the 
Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-508), which mandates 
regulations on the use of instrumented inspection technology for 
inspecting pipelines. 

Despite congressional mandates and the benefits identified by 
several pipeline operators, there are no federal regulations on 
smart pig use or on the frequency of smart pig Inspections. When we 
issued our report in September 1992, RSPA had not completed the 
feasibility study on smart pigs that the 1988 act mandated be issued 
by May 1990. Also, RSPA had not issued the mandated regulations 
requiring new or replacement pipelines, to the extent practicable, 
to accommodate smart pigs. We found that the delays resulted from 
RSPA's resource shortages and the agency's decision to devote 
resources to other work. 

In our report we recommended that the Secretary of 
Transportation act to expeditiously (1) provide the Congress with 
the final report from the smart pig feasibility study mandated by 
the 1988 act or notify the Congress when the study would be 
available and (2) issue the regulations mandated by the 1988 act. 

9 



280 



In carxylng out these actions, we pointed out that DOT should (1) 
determine how smart pig technology can effectively be used in 
natural gas transmission pipelines, especially those in densely 
populated areas, and (2) consider the capabilities, limitations, and 
costs of smart pigs in determining the role that these inspections 
should play in an overall strategy for ensuring pipeline integrity 
and safety. 

RSPA, however, had recognized the capabilities of smart pig 
inspection. Over the previous 6 years, RSPA had served hazardous 
facility and consent orders to natural gas and hazardous liquid 
pipeline companies following incidents in their lines. In those 
cases, RSPA required the companies to use smart pig inspections to 
verify pipeline integrity. 

RECENT ACTIONS TO ENHANCE SMART PIGS' USE 

In November 1992, RSPA issued the feasibility study mandated by 
the 1988 act.^ The report assessed the feasibility of requiring 
the inspection of transmission facilities with smart pigs at 
periodic intervals. It concluded that, under certain circumstances. 
It may be feasible to require periodic inspections of natural gas 
transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines with a smart pig if the 
pipelines are constructed to accommodate the pigs. 

RSPA also took actions to issue the regulations mandated by the 
1988 act. In November 1992, DOT published in the Federal Register a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring that new or replacement 
natural gas transmission pipelines, new and replacement hazardous 
liquid pipelines, and certain carbon dioxide pipelines be designed 
to accommodate smart pigs. The proposed rules do not apply to 



^ Instrumented Internal Inspection Devices (A Study Mandated Bv 
P. L. 100-56H . Research and Special Programs Administration, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Nov. 1992. 

10 



281 



specific installations for which such design and construction would 
be impracticable. DOT invited interested parties to submit 
comments. RSPA is currently evaluating the comments received and 
plans to issue final regulations by the end of this year. 

Subsequent to our report, the Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 was 
enacted on October 24, 1992. It contains provisions that could 
increase the use of smart pig inspections in pipelines. The act 
directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations, within 
3 years of enactment, requiring pipeline operators to periodically 
Inspect natural gas pipelines in high-density population areas and 
hazardous liquid pipelines in environmentally sensitive and high- 
density population areas. The regulations are to prescribe the 
circumstances, if any, under which such inspections should be 
conducted with an instrumented internal inspection device. The act 
provides that, when an Instrumented internal inspection device is 
not required, the Secretary shall require the use of an inspection 
method that is at least as effective as the use of a such a device 
in providing for the safety of the pipeline. 

NTSB PIPELINE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS 

NTSB has made several recommendations to RSPA regarding 
pipeline safety that are relevant to the Reston incident. For 
example, in 1987, NTSB recommended that RSPA require operators of 
natural gas and liquid transmission pipelines to construct new 
pipelines to facilitate the use of smart pigs and to require 
operators to incorporate smart pig facilities when repairing or 
modifying existing systems. These recommendations were subsequently 
incorporated into the Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Act of 1988, 
which, as we pointed out earlier, required RSPA to issue regulations 
addressing these requirements. RSPA, however, did not issue a 
Proposed Notice of Rulemaking on this requirement until November 
1992. 



11 



282 



In 1987, NTSB also recommended that RSPA develop operational 
criteria for determining safe intervals between hydrostatic tests of 
pipelines. RSPA has not adopted this recommendation. We noted that 
federal regulations require hydrostatic testing of new pipelines but 
do not require retesting unless the pipeline is relocated, replaced, 
or otherwise changed. However, in the course of pipeline 
operations, the pipeline may be displaced, deformed, and damaged 
because of movement of the earth, and/or third-party construction 
damage. This damage — dents and gouges — may weaken the pipe and 
remain unknown to the operator. In addition, hazardous liquid lines 
are subject to fluctuating pressure changes that, in a weakened 
pipe, can result in fatigue cracking of the pipe's metal. Fatigue 
cracking propagates over time. These cracks can result in leaks or 
ruptures. Hydrostatic testing could detect such flaws by causing 
the pipeline to fail during the test. 

NTSB also recommended in 1987 that RSPA require the 
installation of remote-operated valves on pipelines that transport 
hazardous liquids and determine the spacing of the valves on the 
basis of the population at risk. In response to the 1988 act, a 
1991 RSPA study found the following: 

— Remotely controlled valves and check valves are the only 
effective emergency flow-restricting devices. 

— From a cost standpoint, it is reasonable to retrofit all 
manually operated valves to be remotely controlled on 
hazardous liquid pipelines located in urban areas. 

— There are other locations where remotely controlled valves 
should be installed to protect environmentally sensitive 
areas . 

The Pipeline Safety Act of 1992 requires that RSPA assess the 
effectiveness of emergency flow-restricting devices — including 

12 



283 



remotely controlled valves — and issue regulations prescribing the 
circumstances under which operators of hazardous liquid pipelines 
must use such emergency flow restricting devices. To date, RSPA has 
not begun to develop these regulations. 

Despite the 1987 HTSB recommendations, it is worth noting that 
there are still no federal regulations (1) requiring inspections 
with an instrumented inspection device, (2) setting forth frequency 
criteria for hydrostatically retesting pipelines, and (3) requiring 
installation of remotely controlled operating valves. Furthermore, 
there are no federal criteria that specify the size of dents, 
gouges, and groves on pipelines that would require a section of pipe 
to be repaired or replaced once they are detected. 

RESTON. VIRGINIA, PIPELINE INCIDENT 

He have not conducted a detailed review of the March 28, 1993, 
spill in Reston, Virginia. However, as requested by the 
Subcommittee, we are providing comments on these matters as they 
relate to the issue of pipeline safety. 

The Colonial Pipeline Company hazardous liquid pipeline which 
ruptured in Reston, Virginia, spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons 
of fuel oil. About 236,000 gallons of the spill entered the 
Sugarland Run Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River. The pipeline 
segment that ruptured is part of Colonial's 36-inch pipeline between 
pump stations at Chantilly, Virginia, and Dorsey Junction, Maryland. 
This pipeline was commissioned in 1980 and is part of Colonial's 
overall system, which runs from Pasadena, Texas, to Linden, New 
Jersey. RSPA and NTSB are currently investigating the causes of the 
Reston incident. 

Following the Incident, RSPA, on March 30, 1993, issued a 
Hazardous Facility Order to the Colonial Pipeline Company. The 
order required Colonial to reduce the operating pressure at the 

13 



284 



Chantllly pump station to 20 percent below the pressure prior to the 
pipeline failure. It also mandated certain analysis of the failed 
pipeline segment and of the failure site. Following further 
Investigation Into the cause of the Incident, RSPA amended Its order 
to restrict the operating pressure for the pipeline segment to 50 
percent of the maximum operating pressure. The order also required 
Colonial to submit a plan by April 12, 1993, for the Internal 
Instrumented inspection of the pipeline between Chantllly, Virginia, 
and Dorsey Junction, Maryland, and to prescribe the actions to be 
taken to correct the problems found. 

In its April 12, 1993, plan. Colonial stated that it would 
inspect the pipeline segment with a caliper pig and subsequently 
with a magnetic-flux pig. The caliper pig will Identify the 
location of anomalies such as dents, wrinkles, buckles, ovalltles, 
and flat spots by measuring the reduction of a pipe's diameter 
resulting from these anomalies. The use of the caliper pig also 
ensures that a smart pig will then be able to traverse the line. 

RSPA told us that the Colonial Pipeline Company has made 
considerable use of smart pigs. However, while it used a caliper 
pig in 1989 on this segment of pipeline, it has never inspected this 
segment with a magnetic-flux pig. RSPA also told us that Colonial 
had not hydrostatlcally tested this segment since its 1980 
construction. In addition, this 35-mile pipeline segment does not 
have remotely controlled operating valves in the transmission line 
between the Chantllly and Dorsey Junction pumping stations. 
Remotely controlled operating valves located closer together could 
have reduced the amount of fuel oil spilled. However, as discussed 
earlier, there are no federal regulations requiring the use of smart 
pigs, periodic hydrostatic testing, or the installation of remotely 
controlled valves. 

RSPA officials also told us that the Colonial pipeline segment 
that ruptured is not designed to easily accommodate magnetic-flux or 

14 



285 



ultrasonic smart pigs. This is because the pipeline changes in 
diameter from 36 inches to 32 Inches around pumping stations. 
Colonial plans to modify the pipeline to accommodate smart pigs. 

CONCLUSIONS 

Smart pigs, in conjunction with other inspection techniques, 
and the Improvements recommended by NTSB, can strengthen the federal 
strategy to ensure pipeline integrity and safety and minimize 
incidents and damage. Although aging pipelines are of concern 
because they have a higher risk of resulting in pipeline incidents, 
the Reston spill points out that even relatively newer pipelines are 
subject to failure. Accordingly, there is good reason for pipeline 
companies to use all available technologies to better ensure the 
integrity and safety of their pipelines. 



Mr. Chairman, this concludes our testimony. We would be very 
happy to respond to any questions you or other Subcommittee members 
might have. 



15 



286 



APPENDIX I 



APPENDIX I 



MAGNETIC-FLUX SMART PIG 



Magnet for 
Flux Induction • 



OrivaCup 



)n 



-^ 










iTT 




Batlary Housad Inslda 



Univaraal Joint Tapa Racordar Housad Insida 



Diraction ol Traval 



Sourca: Vatco Pipalina Sannea*. 



16 



287 



APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 

NATURAL GAS PIPELINE INCIDENTS (1985-92 ^ 




1«65 I9M 1H7 ItM 1«U 1M0 1991 1993 



17 



288 



APPENDIX III APPENDIX III 

NATURAL GAS PIPELINE INCIDENTS BY CAUSE tl992i 




Other 



4% 

Internal Corrosion 



6% 

External Corrosion 



— Damage From Outside Forces 



8% 

Constnjction Material Defect 



2% 

Operator Accident 



18 



289 



APPENDIX IV APPENDIX IV 

HAZARDOUS LIQUID PIPELINE INCIDENTS fl9B5-92> 



MO Numtarof 






n 



--.n 



tip 

r 



IMS 1» 

Vmt 



1M7 19M 1M9 1N0 1M1 1* 



19 



290 



APPENDIX V APPENDIX V 

HAZARDOUS LIQUID PIPELINE INCIDENTS BY CAUSE ^1992\ 



Other 



5% 

Internal Corrosion 

External Corrosion 




7% 

Incorrect Operation 

5% 
Oefectlva Pipe 

Outside Damage 

4% 

Equipnnent Malfunction 



(342875) 



20 



291 



ST&TBMEMT OF 

8TEPHSV LOTTZO 

ACTIWS DBVOTT OFTICB DIKBCTOR 

orricB or bmbroehct amd rkmedial rbspomsk 

or THB 

OrriCB or solid WASTB and BMBRaSHCT RS8POHSB 

U.S. BMVZROHIIBMTAL FROTBCTZOV AOBBCT 

BBrORB THB 

8UBCOIOIIVTBB OB IMVBBTiaATZOHB AHD OVERSIGHT 

or THB 

COmiZTTBB OH PUBLIC HOSK8 ABD TUUISPOBTATIOH 

U.S. HOUSB or KBVKBSBBTATIVBS 

May IS, 1993 

Good afternoon, Mr. Chalman, and distinguished meiabers of 
the SubcoBoiittee. I aus Stephen Luftig, Acting Deputy Office 
Director for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of 
Emergency and Remedial Response, within the Office of Solid Waste 
and Emergency Response. I am pleased to have the opportunity to 
address your Subcommittee on the subject of the recent Colonial 
Pipeline Company ("Colonial Pipeline") oil spill in Fairfax 
County, Virginia. With me today are Mr. Alfred Lindsey, Director 
of the Office of Environmental Engineering and Technology 
Demonstration, irtiich is within EPA's Office of Research and 
Development, emd Mr. Dennis Carney, Chief of EPA's Region III 
Superfxind Removal Branch. 

I will begin by briefly explaining our Nation's system for 
responding to oil spills, focusing on EPA's role in that system. 
I will then discuss EPA's response to the Colonial Pipeline spill 
and the extent of environmental damage caused by the spill. In 
addition, I would like to provide the Subcommittee with recent 
data on the types and number of oil pipeline spills, and discuss 
EPA's oil spill response research and development efforts. 



292 



- 2 - 
Th« National Rasponsa Syataa 

The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution 
Contingency Plan, also knovm as the NCP (40 CFR Part 300) , 
provides the organizational structure and procedures for the 
Federal Government's planning for .and response to oil and 
hazardous substance spills. Generally speeUcing, EPA responds to 
oil spills in the Inland Area of the U.S., while the U.S. Coast 
Guard (Coast Guard) responds to spills in the Coastal Area. In 
appropriate circumstances, State and local governments may 
respond to Inland spills that are within their response 
capability. 

The NCP establishes the National Response Center (NRC) , 
which is staffed 24 ho\irs a day by the Coast Guard. The NRC 
receives all reports of oil and hazardous svibstance releases 
anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. The NRC, in turn, 
notifies appropriate EPA Regional Offices and Coast Guard 
District Offices of the spill. EPA and the Coast Guard determine 
whether Federal response or oversight is necessary. 

0\u: National planning and preparedness structure involves 
many organizations, including EPA and other Federal agencies. 
State and local governments, local planning committees, and other 
interested parties. This network, which is detailed in the NCP, 
is a key component of the oil spill preparedness and response 
system. Our experience has shown that a pre-established 
conaunlcations and planning network involving all pairties to a 



293 



- 3 - 
response effort, including the private sector, is critical to 
successful response actions. 

On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) are the lead Federal officials 
at the scene of a discharge. OSCs are responsible for managing 
on-site Federal efforts and resources in responding to an 
incident and are authorized to taJce all necessary actions, 
consistent with Federal law, to remove an oil discharge or 
mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of a discharge into 
navigable waters. 

While OSCs respond to emergencies, it is the responsibility 
of the National Response Team (NRT) and Regional Response Teeuns 
(RRTs) to prepare emd plan for emergencies. Th» NRT, which is 
chaired by EPA, consists of representatives from 15 Federal 
agencies who have responsibilities for environmental emergencies. 
The NRT addresses issues of general applicability across 
agencies, sites, and programs. One of the NRT's major 
responsibilities is to maintain national prepeuredness to respond 
to an oil discharge that exceeds local and State response 
capetbilitles. The NRT also develops recommendations for response 
training, accident prevention, and revising the NCP; coordinates 
information about research and development; and shares 
experiences of regional responses. In some situations, 
particularly those that cross regional boundaries, the NRT may be 
activated as an incident-specific team to support the OSCs 
emergency response efforts. In that capacity, the NRT's role 
generally consists of bringing the widest possible range of 



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resources to bear and providing expertise consistent with its 
position as the senior-level support organization in the national 
response system. 

While the NRT provides national planning and preparedness 
support, the thirteen RRTs, under the direction of the NRT, are 
generally responsible for regional planning and coordination of 
preparedness and response actions. RRTs consist of State and 
local government representatives and regional representatives of 
EPA and other NRT agencies. The RRTs have many specific 
functions, including evaluating regional and local responses, 
encouraging the State and local response commxinity to improve its 
preparedness, reviewing local response plans prepared under SARA 
Title III, and conducting preparedness training exercises. The 
standing RRT serves as a planning and coordination body, while 
incident-specific RRTs are formed from appropriate RRT member 
agencies in a limited number of situations, such as when an oil 
discharge crosses State boundaries or poses a substantial threat 
to the public health or welfare or the environment. Key 
responsibilities of the incident-specific RRT are monitoring the 
response, providing communications support, meJcing 
recommendations to the OSC consistent with the RRT's expertise, 
and mobilizing resoiirces available in the region, as requested by 
the OSC in specific response situations. 

EPA's Environmental Response Teeua (ERT) , located in Edison, 
NJ, is composed of National experts in environmental response 
activities, including oil spill response. ERT provides technical 



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advice and support to EPA Regions and other Federal agencies. 
Diiring significant international incidents, ERT has also provided 
technical assistance to foreign governments. 

All ten EPA Regions and the Emergency Response Division in 
EPA Headquarters maintain 24 hour a day Duty Officers. The NRC 
notifies the appropriate Regional Duty Officer in the event of a 
spill and the Duty Officer determines the need for dispatching an 
OSC to the scene of the spill. The NRC also notifies EPA's 
Headquarters Duty Officer of significant incidents anywhere in 
the U.S. or the world that have resulted or may result in major 
effects to public health and welfare or the environment, 
evacuations, loss of life, major property damag», and local (DC) 
or National media attention. The Headquarters Duty Officer will, 
as appropriate, notify the EPA chair of the NRT and EPA's 
Administrator. Reports of significant events will be passed to 
the White House as required or requested. 

EPA's National Incident Coordination Team (NICT) coordinates 
EPA response actions during extraordinary emergency situations of 
National or international significance. The NICT is comprised of 
senior-levsl representatives from each EPA Region amd 
Headquartcxv. Over the past several years, EPA has been involved 
in several such situations (for example, the Persian Gulf War and 
the Exxon Valdez oil spill response) . 



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- 6 - 
Colonial Pipollno spill Rosponso, Daaago Assossmont, and 
Rostoratioa Plans 

Initial Reanonsa 

The response to the Colonial Pipeline spill was a 
coordinated effort by many agencies of Federal, State, and local 
governments, as well as Colonial Pipeline itself. The spill 
resulted from a pipeline breeOc at about 8:48 a.m. on March 28, 
1993. The rupture discharged approximately 407,000 gallons of #2 
fuel oil, of which it is estimated approximately 350,000 gallons 
have been recovered. 

The oil entered Sugarland Run creek via a storm sewer 
approximately one-half mile from the pipeline rvipture site. The 
oil travelled approximately nine miles through Fairfax and 
Loudoun Counties, VA, before reaching the Potomac River at 
Algonkian Park in Loudoun County. EPA dispatched an On-Scene 
Coordinator (OSC) to the spill site on Sunday, March 28, 1993, 
within 3 hours of receiving the NRCs initial report. Along with 
the OSC, contractors from the Technical Assistance Team (TAT) 
arrived to assist the OSC in evaluating the situation and to 
provide technical support. Prior to his depeurture, the OSC 
alerted th* Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team (based at Fort Dix, 
New Jersey). Based upon his initial assessment of the spill's 
severity, the OSC requested that the Strike Team dispatch an oil 
recovery unit to the site. 

The Fairfax County Fire Department began organizing the 
response and initial boom placement operations before EPA's OSC 



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- 7 - 
arrived on site. Because the Federal OSC is required under the 
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to direct all response efforts to oil 
spills that pose a substantial threat to public health or welfare 
of the United States, EPA organized a Unified Command System, led 
by the EPA OSC. 

The Unified Command consisted of decision-makers from the 
Coast Guard, Virginia, Maryland, Colonial Pipeline, and Fairfax 
and Loudoun Counties. The Unified Command participated in 
decisions regarding resources, field recovery operations, and 
response logistics and support. The EPA OSC retained ultimate 
authority to direct the response efforts. The Unified Command 
structure greatly aided decision-medcing and was ^.nstrumental in 
response coordination, and obtaining advice from all response 
organizations . 

EPA's OSC requested additional equipment and personnel from 
the Coast Guard's Gulf Strike Teeua, a helicopter (provided by the 
U.S. Marine Corps at Quantico) , and Coast Guard personnel, who 
were dispatched from their Marine Safety Office (MSO) in 
Baltimore. A senior USCG officer dispatched with the Atlantic 
Strike Teas \init served as an advisor to the EPA OSC. 

EPA held morning and evening briefings at which all 
participants engaged in the response were given the opportunity 
to brief the Unified Command with regard to their organizations' 
activities, concerns, and problems. 

Early during the Emergency Response phase, the OSC solicited 
and received input from all involved governmental agencies and 



298 



- 8 - 
citizen groups regarding long-term cleemup issues. These issues 
were subsequently addressed in a Unilateral Administrative Order 
that EPA Region III issued on J^ril 2, 1993. This Order directed 
Colonial Pipeline to study, abate, mitigate, and eliminate any 
threats to the public health, welfare, and the environment 
resulting from the spill. The transition from the emergency 
response phase to longer-term cleanup phase took place on April 
9, 1993. 

Environmental Assessment 

EPA has coordinated two complete assessments of Sugar land 
Run. The first of these assessments was performed on March 31 
and April 1, 1993. During this assessment, crews assembled from 
local. State, and Federal agencies under the direction of the 
Unified Command were assigned to sectors of Sugarland Run and the 
Potomac River. These crews walked the waterway banks and noted 
environmental damage. They found most of the bank areas to be 
damaged. Many emimals, including birds, beavers, and ducks, 
were rescued and treated at the Tri-State Animal Rescue 
Association. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service coordinated all 
dead wildlife counts and rescue efforts. 

From- April 28 through J^ril 30, EPA coordinated a second 
assessment of Sugairland Run. Much of the oil along the banks had 
disappeared. The CSC and representatives from State and local 
agencies believe this happened for several reasons. 

First, when the spill occurred the water table was excep- 
tionally high. This prevented the oil from settling on and 



299 



- 9 - 
saturating the banks. Because oil is lighter than water, most of 
the oil remained on the surface of the stream. Some was flushed 
downstream dviring the first several days of the spill. Secondly, 
much of the fuel oil degraded and evaporated due to weather 
conditions and exposure to sunlight. As this type of oil tends 
to remain on the surface, natural biodegradation occurs rather 
rapidly. 

In the past several weeks, crews walking the streeun have 
noted evidence of sheen on the water surface. Although oil sheen 
still remains in some areas, sheening from decaying organic 
matter is also evident in the soils. This type of sheen is 
common during this time of year when plants are growing and 
organic matter naturally degrades onto the surrounding soil. 

While site conditions are significantly improved, some areas 
are still affected by the spill. The soils and sediments leading 
to Sugar land Run Creek are still grossly contaminated in some 
areas. Areas of Lowe's Island (the area where Sugarland Run 
enters the Potomac River) and Runnymeade Park in Herndon still 
show signs of contamination. 

The Department of Interior, one of the involved Natural 
Resource Trustees, has assumed the role of Lead Administrative 
Trustee in conducting preassessment activities in considering 
whether a Natural Resource Deunage Assessment is warranted under 
provisions of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and related statutes. 
Other Natural Resource Trustees involved include the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of 



300 



- 10 - 

Commerce, the States of Virginia and Maryland, and the District 

of Columbia. These preassessraent activities include 

consideration of short and long-term effects on natural resources 

exposed to the oil, including plant emd animal life in the area. 

State and Federal landholdings, and services provided by the 

resources . 

EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to Colonial 

Pipeline on Friday, April 2, 1993, outlining specific response 

and restoration measures they must take. Colonial Pipeline 

orally notified EPA that they intended to comply with this Order 

on April 3, 1993. On Friday, April 9, 1993, Colonial Pipeline 

provided a draft Response Action Plan (RAP) to EPA to comply with 

the terms of this Order. Some of the significant actions that 

Colonial Pipeline must perform include: 

Long-term monitoring emd seunpling of the water and sediments 
. located along Sugar lamd Run and the Potomac River, 

Cleanup of oil-contaminated areas, 

A public education program, 

A groundwater monitoring progreun. 

Restoration of all eureas damaged by Colonial Pipeline during 
the response effort. 

To assure that all local emd State concerns would be 

properly addressed, a copy of the RAP was delivered to each of 

the agencies involved in the Unified Command for comment. The 

EPA OSC reviewed these connents and decided that Colonial 

Pipeline should further develop the RAP. 



301 



- 11 - 

A comprehensive sampling plan under the RAP is now near 
completion. This plan will incorporate the assessment infor- 
mation to target primary areas of concern. The focus of seunpling 
performed under the Order will be to determine extent of 
contamination and areas from which oil needs to be removed. 
Data on Pipeline Oil Spills 

We have drawn data on pipeline spills from the Emergency 
Response Notification System (ERNS) , a national computer database 
that stores information on releases of oil and hazardous 
substances. ERNS is a cooperative effort cunong EPA, the 
Department of Transportation, and the NRC. The data in ERNS 
generally consist only of information provided at the time of the 
release. 

• Data over the past six years show consistently that oil 
pipeline spills are reported as being approximately 9% of 
the 15 to 20 thousand annual oil spills. 

• This 9% is reported as accounting for approximately 11% to 
21% of the total annual volxime of oil spilled. 

• Approximately 70% of the oil pipeline spill notifications 
over the past six years do not list the cause of the spill. 
Of the approximately 30% that do, most are attributed to 
equipment failure (approximately 72%) and operator error 
(approximately 11%) . 

• The vast majority (approximately 80%) of oil pipeline spill 
notifications over the last six years have reported spills 
of fewer than 1500 gallons.. 

• Initial notifications over the last six years show that a 
few large pipeline spills (approximately 4%) account for 
most of the oil spilled from pipelines (approximately 73%) . 

• EPA conducts approximately 30 oil spill cleanups per year 
and monitors approximately 200 additional oil spill cleanups 
per year. 



302 



- 12 - 

BPA's Oil Spill R«s«arcli and D«v«lopa«nt Efforts 

EPA is participating in the Interagency Research and 
Development Coordinating Coninittee, which was established by the 
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and chaired by the U.S. Coast Guard. 
This Committee prepared a coordinated research plan and submitted 
it to Congress in April, 1992. The plan identifies research that 
will be conducted over the next five years. 

Under the agreement of the Committee, EPA is focusing its 
oil spill research in four areas: 1) bioremediation, 2) 
dispersants, 3) mechanical cleanup of Inland spills, and 4) 
debris disposal. The plem submitted to Congress proposed that 
bioremediation and dispersant technology would be EPA's two top 
research and development priorities. 

Bioremed iation 

EPA established the Bioremediation Action Committee (BAC) to 
speed the development of bioremediation as a tool for addressing 
both oil and hazardous waste spills. The BAC recommended the 
development of a set of standardized protocols for determining 
the effectiveness and toxicity of bioremediation products, 
including both microbial products and nutrients. A panel of 
experts fron industry, academia,. and government is currently 
developing. the protocols. 

Under Sxibpart J of the NCP, any approved bioremediation 
products are listed on the NCP Product Schedule. Currently, EPA 
requires bioremediation manufacturers to submit specific 
laboratory data about the product (e.g., effectiveness. 



303 



- 13 - 
composition) before being added to the Schedule. If the 
manufacturer submits all required data, EPA lists the product on 
the Schedule. During a spill response, the OSC may choose to use 
amy product listed on the Schedule, and other products may be 
selected on a case-by-case basis. The NCP is currently under 
revision, and information developed from the protocol development 
research will be used to improve the current Product Schedule. 

Under the auspices of the BAC, EPA has prepared a 
bioremediation spill response plan for use at a future spill in 
Region VI. The Region VI Spill Response Plan is a document 
intended to expedite the decision of whether to use 
bioremediation agents to mitigate an oil spill. « Although some of 
the information in the plan is specific to Region VI, other EPA 
Regions have used it as a prototype. 

Dispersants 

During the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, considerable 
controversy arose over the use of dispersants as a response tool. 
EPA has made significant progress in evaluating a test 
methodology to determine the effectiveness and toxicity of 
dispersantsw This is Intended to provide decision-making 
officials with reliable data that could be used in responding to 
a spill. The decision to use dispersants should be made quickly 
after an oil spill occvirs. The protocol improvements are 
intended to expedite this decisionmaking process. 



304 



- 14 - 

Mechanical Cleanup 

Mechanical oil spill containment devices used on the high 
seas or in Coastal environnents often fail when used on fast 
flowing rivers and streams. EPA is investigating the use of an 
innovative diversionary system based on vertical, plunging water 
jets. This system could be used to divert an oil spill to a 
quiescent zone for removal, and cam be used effectively in 
currents up to six knots. EPA has sponsored research for this 
system in small stream feasibility tests, and in 1984 published a 
field manual for the use of a small-sized water jet system. The 
Agency is now focusing on evaluating the effectiveness of larger 
diameter nozzles and high flow rates when used in a large, higher 
current river system. 

Debris Disposal 

Some States and local authorities regulate oil wastes as 
hazardous materials. Therefore, oil-laden debris associated with 
the cleanup of spilled oil is often managed as a regulated 
hazardous material. This complicates waste management and often 
results in long-distance shipment of large volumes of oil spill 
waste to regulated hazeurdous waste facilities. So far, 
acceptable shipboard or transportable land-based waste management 
options have not materialized. EPA plans further research into 
1) developing state-of-the-art disposal techniques, 2) evaluating 
emissions from waste debris incineration, 3) evaluating several 



305 



■ - 15 - 
recleunatlon alternatives, and 4) evaluating bioremediation 
technology as a means to allow future land disposal of the waste. 

Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before your 
Subcommittee. My colleagues and I would be pleased to answer any 
questions you or the other Subcommittee members might have. 

******* 



306 



TESTIMONY OF ROBERT B. RACKLEFF 

PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF LLOYD 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND OVERSIGHT 

U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION 

HEARING ON COLONIAL PIPELINE SPILL OF MARCH 28, 1993 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

MAY 18, 1993 



I am Robert B. Rackleff , President of the Friends of Lloyd, 
a group of North Florida citizens organized to protect the 
environmental quality of our conununity and surrounding area. 
Lloyd is an unincorporated village in Jefferson County, 16 miles 
east of Tallahassee. Our mailing address is 816 Cherry street, 
Tallahassee, Florida 32303, phone 904-222-9789. 

Our primary concern for over four years has been to stop 
construction of a Texaco gasoline tank farm and Colonial Pipeline 
project in the county's only high-recharge area for the Floridan 
Aquifer. But a more general concern has become inadequate 
federal and state regulation of petroleum pipelines. There can 
be no doubt that much stronger federal and state regulation is 
necessary, and that is why we are submitting this testimony. 

By way of introduction, I work as a self-employed writer and 
consultant for such clients as the Polaroid Corporation, American 
Bar Association, Time Warner Inc., and Ford Foundation. Before 
that, I was a speechwriter for U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie, 
President Jimmy Carter, and Time Inc. Chairman J. Richard Munro. 
My involvement in environmental issues began in the late 1960s 
and includes authorship of Close, to Crisis; Florida's 
Environmental Problems (New Issues Press, 1972). As President of 
the Friends of Lloyd, I receive no compensation of any sort; my 
involvement is voluntary and unpaid. 

INTRODUCTION 

I appear today to describe the extent of the problem of 
pollution from harzardous liquid, or oil, pipelines in America, 
as exemplified by the Colonial Pipeline spill on March 28 near 
Reston, Virginia. The estimated 406,000 gallons of fuel which 
spilled into Sugarland Run and the Potomac River were only part 
of the more than 1.5 million gallons Colonial has spilled or 
leaked in the last four years. In fact, in 1991 and 1992, 
Colonial Pipeline alone spilled more than did all tankships and 
barges throughout the United states in those two years. Colonial 
spilled 566,496 gallons, and all water carriers spilled 529,693, 
in those two years. 

And Colonial Pipeline's record is only a small part of the 
total spilled or leaked by an industry which is so lightly- 



307 



regulated that it is, for all practical purposes, that it is 
self-regulated. Oil pipelines spill or leak the equivalent of an 
Exxon Valdez spill every year in America, on average, year after 
year. From 1970 to 1992, oil pipelines spilled a total of 
272,036,562 gallons of crude oil and petroleiun products, or an 
annual average of 11,827,242 gallons, according to the Annual 
Reports of Pipeline Safety of the U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety. 
In the six weeks after the Sugarland Run spill, from March 28 to 
May 10, the OPS has received telephone reports of 280 pipeline 
spills. One of them, by ARCO Four Corners Pipeline Company, 
spilled 260,400 gallons in the Los Angeles area. 

Pipelines are the leading point source of oil pollution in 
the United States. The annual average of nearly 12 million 
gallons spilled are only those reported to the OPS. The actual 
volume of oil spilled each year by pipelines is undoubtedly far 
higher and "may be as much as 20 million to 30 million gallons 
each year," according to a report issued yesterday by the Friends 
of the Earth. I mention "point source," because urban runoff, or 
"nonpoint source" pollution, is the leading overall cause of oil 
pollution. 

Spills from oil tankships and barges are far less serious a 
source of oil pollution than pipelines. In the years 1973 to 
1992, tankships and barges spilled a total of 92,340,884 gallons 
of crude oil and petroleum products, according to the U.S. Coast 
Guard. We have no authoritative data on the annual volume of 
leaks and spills from aboveground and underground storage tanks. 

Moreover, as a means of transporting oil, pipelines are 
twice as likely as tankers and barges to spill or leak. 
Factoring in statistics on ton-miles compiled by the Association 
of Oil Pipelines, pipelines have spilled 20,928 gallons of oil 
per ton-mile transported, and tankships and barges have spilled 
9,947 gallons per ton-mile transported. That is an important 
comparison because public concern and our regulatory effort in 
recent years has centered on preventing oil spills by tankships 
and barges. 

(See page 21 for a table showing yearly spill totals for oil 
pipelines and water carriers in the United States.) 

As only one indication of regulatory neglect, in contrast 
with the massive volumes spilled by pipelines, consider that the 
total amount of civil penalties collected from pipeline companies 
by OPS was $429,300 from 1979 to 1991. It does not include 
penalties collected in 1986; they were not available to me. 
During those 12 years (excluding 1986), there were 2,437 reported 
pipeline incidents which spilled 126,000,584 gallons of oil, yet 
the OPS collected only $429,300 in civil penalties. That amounts 
to penalties paid of 3.4 cents per gallon spilled — surely one 
of the great regulatory bargains of our time. 



308 



Pipeline pollution is an environmental crisis that persists 
because we have simply not taken it seriously as an environmental 
threat. Until passage of amendments to the Hazardous Licfuid 
Pipeline Safety Act by Congress last year, federal regulations 
were concerned only with safety problems and not the 
environmental disasters they are. "The U.S. pipeline industry 
has an excellent public safety record," a National Transportation 
Safety Board (NTSB) official stated at a Congressional hearing 
two years ago. It was as if DOT officials in 1989 had claimed 
that the Exxon Valdez disaster was a triumph of public safety 
regulation because, after all, nobody was killed or injured — 
then done nothing to prevent similar tanker spills. 

The pollution of Sugarland Riin and the Potomac River by 
Colonial Pipeline on March 28, despite its tragic impact, may at 
least have the effect of focusing Congressional attention on this 
long-neglected problem. I hope that a momentum will come out of 
this hearing for a thorough aseessment of how poorly we regulate 
oil pipelines and a significant strengthening of these 
regulations. 

I submitted written testimony in 1991 and closely followed 
Congressional action on the reauthorization of the Pipeline 
Safety Act enacted last October. The amendments in that 
reauthorization made only marginal improvements in federal 
regulation of oil pipelines. It was one more opportunity lost 
for a significant advance in environmental protection and public 
safety. 

Today, however. Congress again has an opportunity to develop 
stricter standards for location, construction, operation and 
regulation of hazardous liguid pipelines, as well as a stronger 
role for state governments and citizen access to the courts. I 
hope that Congress makes the most of that opportunity. 

LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT PIPELINE SAFETY AND POLLUTION 

I want now to share some lessons the Friends of Lloyd have 
learned in the last four years of research about and direct 
experience with oil pipelines. 

Our experience in opposing an ill-conceived gasoline 
pipeline proposal by Colonial Pipeline Company is a case study of 
how government pipeline regulations are not protecting the 
environment and public safety at the local level. It has also 
given us an opportunity to learn about the problem nationwide. 
In a sense, we have learned at the retail level what results from 
your work at the wholesale level, and we believe the lessons 
learned here are worth considering while you consider further 
actions after this hearing concludes. The most basic lesson we 
have learned is that government regulation is not working. 



309 



Colonial has proposed extending a l2-inch pipeline which now 
terminates in Bainbridge, Georgia, 55 miles to Lloyd, Florida, to 
serve a proposed gasoline tank farm in Lloyd, Florida, to be 
built by a partnership of Texaco, Citgo and Amoco. It would 
traverse high-recharge areas of the Floridan Ac[uifer, including a 
lake, wetlands and sinkhole-prone areas, jeopardizing groundwater 
supplies of three counties in Georgia and two in North Florida. 
The projects are still unbuilt because of the opposition of the 
Friends of Lloyd and the Leon County government. 

We endeavored throughout to base our opposition on 
documented evidence of the safety and environmental records of 
petroleum pipelines and related facilities. We have carried out 
extensive research of public records, research literature, and 
pretrial discovery, as well as consulting with numerous 
scientific and engineering experts. 

We also approached the widest possible range of federal, 
state and local agencies to seek relocation of the pipeline and 
tank farm. We found that these public agencies were neither 
willing nor able to help. We have had to rely primarily on 
privately-financed lawsuits to challenge the project, while we 
have been able to bear these expenses, thsy are far out of the 
financial range of most community groups. Nobody should have to 
go through the strenuous efforts we have undertaken, yet this 
will happen again repeatedly unless regulators exercise more 
responsibility. 

Here are some lessons we want to share with this 
subcommittee. 



LESSON #1 - FEDERAL REGULATORY AGENCIES ARE NOT PROTECTING 
THE PUBLIC OR THE ENVIRONMENT. 

Results should count, and the results demonstrate that the 
Office of Pipeline Safety is not serious about regulating 
pipelines. A record of 272 million gallons spilled in the last 
23 years speaks for itself: The current regulatory structure is 
broken, and it needs fixing. 

General Accounting Office reports in 1984, 1989 and 1991 and 
Congressional hearings in 1987 and 1989 have detailed the 
shortcomings of the Department of Transportation agencies 
regulating petroleum pipelines. 

Among our many concerns about the numerous shortcomings is 
the Inadequate staffing of the OPS and the National 
Transportation Safety Board. The OPS now has three field 
inspectors for the eight states, including mine, in its 
Southeastern Region — and only 24 for a national pipeline system 
of 1.75 million miles (including 225,000 miles of hazardous 
liquids pipelines) . We understand that the 1992 amendments will 
increase this number, but even that would be inadequate. 



310 



Inadequate staffing affects the full range of OPS 
activities, from data collection, verification and compilation to 
inspections. As an OPS official said in the 1989 hearing. 

Essentially, our inspections consist primarily of 
reviewing their operating records and their operation 
and maintenance manuals, and spot checking pipelines in 
the field. . . .As you know, we have a very small 
program. . . . It is a constant balancing act as far 
as how you deploy very limited resources. 

Inadequate staffing also affects DOT's ability to 
investigate pipeline accidents, a responsibility of the NTSB. In 
the 1987 Congressional hearing, a NTSB official reported it had 
only two pipeline accident investigators. "Of the approximately 
2,000 accidents reported to the Department of Transportation, the 
Safety Board is able to investigate 25 to 30," the official 
stated. 

The result is that the public and environment are 
inadequately protected. Remember also that, in 40 states, 
including Florida and Virginia, there is no state regulation of 
petroleum pipelines. These 40 states rely entirely on the 
federal program to protect them from pipeline leaks, spills, and 
explosions. 

Also, pipeline companies assert the right to route new 
petroleum pipelines without meaningful restrictions by federal or 
state governments. There is no federal routing process for oil 
pipelines. The result is that pipeline companies routinely 
ignore environmental or safety considerations in routing new 
pipelines and in siting related facilities, such as gasoline 
tanks farms — even when the dangers are obvious. 

LESSON #2 - PIPELINE TECHNOLOGY AND OPERATING PRACTICES DO 
NOT PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT 

"Liquid petroleum pipelines are the safest mode of 
transportation in the United States," Joe Swift, president of Sun 
Pipeline Company, told the Sharp subcommittee on May 22. Yet the 
pipeline record of 272 million gallons of oil spills alone is a 
repudiation of claims like this and an indictment of pipeline 
operations in the United States. Other reports confirm the 
enormity of the pipeline problem. For example, the General 
Accounting Office (GAO) in its January 29, 1991, report, 
"Pollution From Pipelines," documented 3,910 spills in U.S. 
waters during the 1980s, more than one per day. 

The Wilderness Society report, "A Hundred Spills, A Thousand 
Excuses," released on March 19, 1990 underscored this serious 
failure and suggests a comparison of pipelines with other sources 



311 



of oil pollution. From this report of the 100 worst oil spills 
following the Exxon Valdez disaster, we found this breakdown: 

46 spills - Pipelines 

16 spills - Storage Tanks 

13 spills - Barges 

10 spills - Tanker Trucks 

9 spills - Tanker Ships 

3 spills - Other Ships 

2 spills - Railroad Tankers 

1 spill - Unknown 

The Wilderness Society report showed that pipelines 
accounted for more than half of the total volume of the 100 worst 
spills. Here they are by category: 

5,596,650 gallons (51.6%) - Pipelines 

2,890,300 gallons (27.4%) - Storage Tanks 

1,198,800 gallons (11.0%) - Tanker Ships 

772,800 gallons (7.1%) - Barges 

260,100 gallons (2.4%) - Other Ships 

82,500 gallons (0.8%) - Tanker Trucks 

25,500 gallons (0.2%) - Railroad Tankers 

25. 000 gallons (0,_2j^)_T-.Pnknpwn 



10,851,650 gallons Total 

The Friends of the Earth report on oil pollution, "Crude 
Awakening," released yesterday, compiled from news reports a list 
of 30 oil pipeline spills of over 100,000 gallons from 1985 until 
to the March 28 Sugarland Run spill by Colonial Pipeline. A 
report in Oil & Gas Jou rnal of October 29, 1990, found 690 
failures in Gulf of Mexico offshore oil pipelines from 1967 to 
1987 and that the rate of failures was getting worse, not getting 
better. The report concluded, "The significant increase in 
failures since 1975 can be attributed to the increase in the 
pipeline population, aging of the pipelines installed earlier, 
and the increased offshore construction activity." 

These and other reports demonstrate that petroleum pipelines 
are far more dangerous and unreliable than both the industry and 
regulators claim. Moreover, we should never lose sight of the 
fact that pipeline spills tend to happen inland, and pollute the 
ground and waters we depend on for municipal and agricultural 
water supplies. Unlike coastal waters, where tides and other 
flushing action can disperse contamination (although the 
ecological effects can be devastating) , inland spills from 
pipelines can produce groundwater contamination that persists for 
decades and may never be completed cleaned up. 

For example, a leak in an eight-inch pipe in East Setauket, 
Long Island, dribbled a million gallons of leaded gasoline into 
the ground for over 10 years. The underground pool of gasoline 
still floats over the Long Island Aquifer, the island's only 
source of drinking water. Besides pumping out undissolved 



312 



gasoline, cleanup efforts include a new wastewater treatment . 
plant, large enough for a city of 35,000 people, to treat the 
ground water containing dissolved gasoline. Officials there 
expect the cleanup to take at least a decade. 

LESSON #3 - SPILL AND ACCIDENT DATA ABOUT PETROLEUM 
PIPELINES ARE INCOMPLETE, INACCURATE AND NEEDLESSLY DIFFICULT TO 
OBTAIN. 

Despite reports of 32.9 million gallons of petroleum spilled 
in 1987-89, the OPS data serious underreport the number and 
dimension of pipeline spills. As a result, the data are deeply 
flawed as a basis for policy development or source of public 
information. For example, there is no way of knowing whether a 
pipeline operator's good record at OPS is genuine or a result of 
underreporting the volume of spills or not reporting them at all. 

This is partly because the OPS in 1984 inexplicably relaxed 
its reporting requirements so that it now requires hazardous 
liquids pipeline operators to report spills or leaks of more than 
2,100 gallons (50 barrels), or involve $5,000 or more in property 
damage or injury or death; the previous requirement was to report 
all spills over 210 gallons (five barrels) . 

As a result, the average number of liquids pipeline spills 
reported to OPS was fewer than half the 391 annual average spills 
compiled from other sources by the GAO. Note also that the GAO 
reported on spills in U.S. waters only, while the OPS data were 
supposed to reflect spills inland as well. 

Moreover, the GAO reported in 1987 that few pipeline 
companies complied fully with even the relaxed OPS reporting 
requirements and that the OPS was unable to monitor compliance 
with reporting requirements. The GAO was unable to determine the 
full extent of this underreporting. Other problems, as noted in 
1990 by an OPS official in conversation with me, are pipeline 
companies which underreport the size of spills, and failure to 
revise reported spill volumes upward after their initial report. 

As one test of OPS data accuracy, we compared the number of 
reported spills at OPS with known data about a crude oil pipeline 
which traverses the Florida Everglades. The Florida Department 
of Natural Resources has on file approximately 40 spills by 
Sunniland Pipeline; the OPS has two on file. 

The only other source of systematic pipeline spill data, the 
Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) , comes from reports 
to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center on spills in 
U.S. waters, and does not include inland pipeline spills. 
Although it shows about twice the number of spills as OPS data, 
it seriously undercounts the vol\ime of these spills. For the 
years 1980 to 1989, ERNS reports that oil pipelines spill almost 
20 million gallons, while OPS data reported spills of 109,543,640 



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gallons during the same period. More recently. Coast Guard data 
on the Sugarland Run spills records the volume spilled as zero. 

In short, the inadequate data on pipeline spills are a 
serious shortcoming which distort the safety and environmental 
record of petroleum pipelines and thereby impair objective 
analyses of risks and the development of policies to reduce those 
risks. 

LESSON #4 - PIPELINE COMPANIES ROUTINELY MISREPRESENT THEIR 
SAFETY RECORDS AND FEDERAL REGULATIONS WHICH GOVERN THEM 

Even compared to the undercount of spills and accidents in 
OPS records. Colonial Pipeline has misrepresented both its 
company record and the industry record of spills and leaks. It 
has repeatedly told North Florida residents that pipelines cause 
less pollution than other means of transporting oil, especially 
tankers and barges. In a newsletter published last year, 
Colonial claimed that data from the U.S. Department of 
Transportation showed that in 1990 pipelines spilled 18,709 
gallons per billion ton-mile transported while water carriers 
spilled 44,458 gallons per billion ton-mile. The same statistics 
were in a Florida Energy Pipeline Association (FEPA) newsletter. 
When we asked DOT about these statistics, we heard from George W. 
Tenley Jr., Associate Adminstrator for Pipeline Safety: 

We did not recognize the st at istics in the article 
and called the FEPA Executive Director to determine the 
source. He, in turn, referred us to the contributing 
author who, upon checking, acknowledged the statistics 
were not from DOT but from a brochure published by the 
Association of Oil Pipelines. . • . 

To avoid any further confusion, we are requesting 
the FEPA E xecutive Dire ct or to is sue a retract ion in 
the next issue of the newsletter. . . . 

with respect to the assertions in the article, we 
cannot at this time categorically confirm or deny them. 
Since the stat istics are not f rom DO T data ba ses, we 
would have to undertake a significant amount of 
validation, analysis, and interpretation to arrive at 
any responsible conclusions. 

We looked at Colonial's data more closely and determined 
that they came from the Emergency Response Notification System, 
which counted less than 20 percent of the volume of oil pipeline 
spiils in the 1980' s, as 1 cited earlier, and ignored the more 
accurate OPS data. 

Moreover, in aii application for a dredge-and~f ill permit in 
1990, the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation asked 
Colonial Pipeline how many spills it had experienced; its answer 



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was two. Also, Colonial Pipeline has repeatedly stated that its 
few spills were the result of "outside force," when the actual 
causes of most were equipment failures or employee error. As OPS 
data show, outside force typically accounts for about one-fourth 
of liquid pipeline accidents, while pipeline companies' equipment 
or operational failures account for three-fourths. 

Colonial Pipeline has also misrepresented the nature of 
federal regulations in a concerted effort to forestall state or 
local governments from regulating petroleum pipelines here. When 
the Friends of Lloyd lobbied the Florida Legislature in 1990 to 
enact a state program to regulate hazardous liquid pipelines, 
pipeline lobbyists repeatedly claimed that "federal preemption" 
made such state legislation illegal, despite OPS efforts to 
encourage state involvement in regulating pipeline safety. As 
recently as May 16, 1991, a Colonial attorney told the 
Tallahassee Democrat, "Federal law says no state — and the 
county is part of the state — shall adopt any standards related 
to the safety of pipelines." 

In fact, the federal government encourages states to enact 
pipeline regulation. As a senior U.S. Department of 
Transportation official said at a 1989 Congressional hearing, 

The state programs are critical to pipeline 
safety. Existing Federal resources, and any reasonably 
likely expansion of those resources, are not sufficient 
to ensure the safe operation of pipeline facilities 
given the size of the regulated community, the extent 
of their facilities, and the complexity of their 
operations. Moreover, states have a strong interest in 
protecting their citizens. 

One obvious, but overlooked, result of pipeline company 
misrepresentation is that only 10 of the 50 states are certified 
to participate in the regulation of pipelines. If our experience 
during the 1990 Florida legislative session is a guide, the zeal 
of pipeline companies to prevent state regulation of pipelines 
has ensured that the oPS program with state regulators will not 
expand in coming years. The apparent reason for opposing state 
regulations is that pipeline companies have grown comfortable 
with federal regulators and do not want this relationship 
disturbed. 

For another example. Colonial Pipeline attempted two years 
ago to stop a local government in Florida from determining the 
route of a new pipeline within its jurisdication. It filed a 
lawsuit in federal court on August 16, 1991 against Leon County, 
claiming that federal law preempts the county's action, despite 
federal policy that leaves such determinations to state and local 
governments. Yet only weeks earlier, DOT's Administrator of the 
Research and Special Programs Administration, Travis P. Dungan, 
told a Congressional subcommittee that "such matters as zoning 
and location of pipelines are entirely a matter of local 



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control." Even the Association of Oil Pipe Lines has endorsed 
"the power of state and local governments to affect the location 
of pipelines that cross their jurisdiction," in a written 
statement on June 20, 1991. A federal judge in February, 1992, 
ruled against Colonial. 

Colonial has also misrepresented federal saifety regulations 
about the clear-cutting of pipeline rights of way. A group of 
homeowners in the Atlanta, Georgia area have filed a lawsuit in 
state court to stop Colonial from clear-cutting trees adjacent to 
their homes. In reply. Colonial and Plantation Pipeline 
submitted a legal brief on June 28, 1990 that they had no 
alternative but to clear cut because, "The pipeline companies 
must clear the right of way and any obscuring side growth to 
comply with the inspection requirements of Part 195.412(a) [of 
DOT pipeline regulations]." However, that requirement states 
simply that operators inspect rights of way at specified 
intervals and nothing about methods or clear-cutting. 

The March 28 spill by Colonial Pipeline is another example 
of how Colonial misrepresents itself. When the spill took place, 
Colonial claimed that it lost 336,000 gallons; it had the look of 
a precise number, but it was exactly 8,000 barrels, and later 
turned out to be about 406,000 gallons, in a newspaper ad run in 
the Tallahassee area. Colonial Pipeline claimed, "Almost all of 
the product spilled in Virginia was recovered — a phenomenal 
recovery effort." Yet Congressional staff found that Colonial 
has wildly exagerrated the volume of fuel it recovered, counting 
the volume oil-tainted water it recovered as pure oil when it 
recovered barely half of of the oil spilled. Colonial also 
claims that outside damage scarred the pipeline and theregy 
caused the spill, when it is more likely that sloppy construction 
by Colonial's contractor installing the pipeline was the cause. 

In short, if Colonial Pipeline's lack of veracity is any 
guide, pipeline companies routinely mislead state and local 
officials, as well as the general public. This will persist as 
long as federal policy continues to be obscure and data continue 
to be faulty and inaccessible to the public. 

LESSON #5 - THE CURRENT RELATIONSHIP OF THE REGULATED 
INDUSTRY AND REGULATORS MAKES SIGNIFICANT REFORM IMPOSSIBLE. 

As important as inadequate funding and staffing have been as 
causes of inadequate regulation of pipelines by DOT, these alone 
cannot explain the history of consistently pro-industry actions 
by the regulatory agencies involved, primarily the Office of 
Pipeline Safety. 

We do not impugn their integrity or dedication, but we also 
found unmistakably pro-industry behavior of DOT staffs and 
leadership during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan and George 
Bush. The 1984 relaxation of the petroleum pipeline spill 



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reporting requirements is a notable example of a decision that 
could only benefit pipeline operators, to the detriment of the 
public and environment. 

Less than six months ago, the OPS in the Federal Registe r of 
November 27, 1992, proposed relaxing its spill reporting 
requirements so that pipeline companies would no longer have to 
to raise the threshhold from $5,000 of property damage to 
$50,000. The stated reason for this change was that the American 
Petroleum Institute the $5,000 requirement was "outdated, 
unnecessarily burdensome and results in unnecessary costs and red 
tape." The OPS agreed that "the requirement sometimes requires 
reporting of minor accidents." This would have further reduced 
the effectiveness of an already-inadequate reporting system and 
ignored the need for accurate data to understand the pollution 
problem better. 

We also note the pro-industry membership of the OPS's 
Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committees, which exert a 
powerful influence on regulatory decisions. The most recent list 
of members of the two committees shows a membership comprised of 
industry, government and public representatives, each in equal 
number. However, the "public" members consisted of lawyers and 
consultants whose livelihood depends on pipeline companies. With 
such a membership, the real public and real public interests are 
invisible and unrepresented. 

There is no better confirmation of this pro-industry bias 
than the OPS disposition of proposed improvements in hazardous 
liquid pipeline regulations, as reported in the Federal Register 
of June 8, 1990, pages 23514-19. The OPS considered 18 
proposals, beginning in February, 1987, including proposals by a 
DOT Safety Task Force and the National Transportation Safety 
Board, and requirements in the Pipeline Safety Reauthorization 
Act of 1988. 

After three years, the OPS in 1990 had taken final action on 
only two of the 18 proposals, adoption of the one-call system and 
the inclusion of carbon dioxide pipelines in its regulatory 
program. The OPS decided either to study further, to modify 
severely or to reject outright the 16 other proposals, erring in 
all cases on a lighter regulatory burden on the pipeline 
industry. The recommendations of the technical committees 
determined the OPS outcomes in most of these cases. 

The OPS put off for study proposals requiring such technical 
improvements as automatic shut-off valves, hydrostatic testing, 
lower maximum operating pressures and computer-based leak ^^-^^ 
detection, and rejected proposals requiring cathodic protection 
and double-wall pipe. It put off for study such procedural 
improvements as requiring operators to inventory types of 
pipelines and systems and to submit reports on pipeline condition 
every four years, and rejected proposals for operators to provide 
information to local governments, to inform local residents of 



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pipeline locations, to install more conspicuous line markers, and 
to develop setback requirements. 

However, in most cases where the OPS intends to study these 
proposals, the results are foreordained to err in favor of 
pipeline companies' interests. For example, in considering the 
NTSB recommendation to require automatic shutoff valves, which 
might have reduced the size of the Sugarland Run spill, the OPS 
stated, "there does not appear to be sufficient justification to 
require the installation . . . along the entire length," but it 
would carry out a study as required by the 1988 Reauthorization 
Act; the results of the study are predictable. The 1988 
Reauthorization Act required the OPS to study hydrostatic testing 
of pipelines, yet the forthcoming results are also predictable, 
given the OPS statement that "integrity testing of all pipelines 
at arbitrary, fixed intervals does not appear justified." 

A review of the disposition of each proposal shows a 
consistent deference to industry claims that both technical and 
procedural improvements would be unnecessary financial burdens ~ 
and a general satisfaction of OPS with current procedural and 
technical standards. In considering increased federal oversight 
in design and construction of new pipelines, the OPS stated, "The 
available safety data do not indicate that the actions 
contemplated by this proposal for design and construction 
functions are needed." However, it did agree to establish^ 
competency standards for pipeline company personnel, a position 
consistent with companies' tendency to blame problems on human 
error, and not equipment or operating procedure problems. 

Of special concern to us is the consistently low regard by 
OPS for informing the public or local governments. The OPS 
deferred to pipeline company claims about the high cost of 
requiring them to provide local governments with information 
about pipeline locations and descriptions; it decided instead 
that states should have that responsibility. It deferred to 
company complaints that informing residents near pipelines about 
locations would "create undue alarm, that landowners are not 
necessarily the persons at risk, and that the costs would be 
extremely high with little expected benefit"; the OPS rejected 
this proposal. It also rejected more conspicuous pipeline 
markers at road crossings "without regard for esthetic 
considerations." In other words, the OPS has little regard for 
informing the public, despite the public's right to know and the 
obvious value in a better^informed public and local governments. 

The 1987 Congressional hearing on pipeline safety, in the 
wake of the Mounds View, Minnesota, disaster, provides another 
example of OPS deference to industry interests. During that 
hearing, GAO commented on OPS's "study" of the feasibility of 
regulating pipeline-connected petroleum tank farms, a measure GAO 
had recommended in 1984. The OPS study found that such 
regulations were not necessary because, it claimed, unregulated 
tank farms had safety records comparable to similar regulated 



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ones. However, GAO reviewed crucial data in this study and found 
that OPS had selected data only from operators with the best 
safety records, ignoring more representative data, which would 
have demonstrated an urgent need for regulation. Once again, OPS 
had acted to the benefit of the pipeline industry, not the 
public. 

In short, it is clear that continued reliance on the Office 
of Pipeline Safety by Congress to improve technical and 
procedural standards, short of mandating specific standards, will 
produce only marginal improvements far short of the urgent need 
to improve the pipeline safety and environmental record. The 
industry has far too much influence, especially through the 
technical advisory committees, for OPS to carry out impartial 
studies that will lead to the significant improvements. 

LESSON #6 - FEDERAL REGULATIONS DO NOT, BUT SHOULD, COVER 
PIPELINE-CONNECTED PETROLEUM TANK FARMS. 

Despite recommendations by GAO in 1984 that the Department 
of Transportation study the feasibility of regulating pipeline- 
connected petroleum tank farms, DOT took no action. As a result, 
a large number of inland tank farms continue to have safety and 
pollution records which should concern us all. As the GAO found 
in 1989, federal tank farm regulations "do not contain mandatory, 
specific design and operating practices to avoid spills." 

That lack of federal regulation helped lead to such 
tragedies as the massive tank farm leaks in Fairfax, Virginia, 
which was investigated by a commission formed by Governor Doug 
Wilder. In its report of December 18, 1992, it stated. 

The Commission adheres to the position stated by 
the Attorney General of Virginia, the Fairfax City 
Council, the Fairfax County Board of supervisors, the 
Council of Civic Associations of the City of Fairfax, 
the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, 
and Citizens for a Healthy Fairfax, that the Pickett 
Road Tank Farm is inapp ro priate in its present 
location ■ poses an unreasonable risk to the purroundinq 
public health, safety, and welfare , and must be 
relocated . 

The report also noted: 

During the first year of operation [1965], a spill 
of 2500 gallons was reported by Texaco, over t^ie n^xt 
27 years , at l east 20 fipills were rep orted by the 
various owners and operators, with a t-otal spillage of. 
at least 500,000 gallons of various products . 

The Washington Post reported that the Virginia Attorney 
General was about to file criminal charges against Texaco, which 



319 



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avoided prosecution after agreeing to buy out homeowners in two 
neighborhoods and otherwise compensate them in a settlement which 
may cost Texaco as much as $200 million. 

Texaco in Travis County, Texas, recently closed down its 
tank farm in East Austin because it caused massive contamination 
and health problems. To avoid criminal prosecution — just like 
in Virginia -- Texaco and several other oil companies had to 
close down their tank farms there permanently. The Aus.tin 
American-Statesman reported on September 19, 1992, 

Facing the threat of criminal subpoenas from a 
five-month pollution investigation, a third oil company 
agreed Friday to close its gasoline terminal at East 
Austin's controversial tank farm. 

Officials at Star Enterprise [Texaco] , which 
operates the largest terminal at the tank farm, 
notified Travis County Attorney Ken Oden that they will 
halt all operations at their six-acre site as soon as 
the company finds a temporary alternate fuel supply. 
. . . Friday's announcement came just days after Oden 
was to begin issuing grand jury subpoenas to the oil 
companies that remain a focus of his investigation. 

In 1991 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered a 
Santa Fe Pacific Pipeline Co. fuel-tank farm near Reno, Nevada, 
to begin a cleanup of leaks that total no less than four million 
gallons and may be as large as 40 million gallons. This is a 
staggering amount of leaked fuel which may be migrating 
underground to the nearby Truckee River. If that occurs, it 
would contaminate irrigation canals and Pyramid Lake downstream. 

Other examples include massive contamination at pipeline and 
storage tank complexes in Greensboro, N.C. and in Spartanburg, 
S.C. As reported in the Greensboro News & Reco rd, state 
authorities have required a massive cleanup by Colonial Pipeline, 
Plantation Pipeline and eight oil companies in Spartanburg 
because resident complaints and test wells showed widespread 
contamination of groundwater there. A state official "estimated 
that only about 5 percent of the cleanup is complete and that it 
will continue throughout the iggo's," wrote the Greensboro 
newspaper on December 14, 1989. 

In Greensboro, state officials found a massive underground 
pool of gasoline, five feet deep in one test well, at a tank farm 
operated by Colonial Pipeline, Plantation Pipeline and 16 oil 
companies. Discovered in 1988, it went unreported until 
November, 1989. Reported soon after was the discovery that 
Colonial Pipeline buried storage tank sludge in trenches on a 
farmer's field until 1980; the sludge included carcinogenic 
chemicals and heavy metals. 



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These illustrate the severe contamination that slow leaks 
can cause at tank farm sites which have scores of storage tanks 
and mazes of underground pipelines, any one of which can be the 
source of major problems. As a report issued in February by the 
Environmental Defense Fund stated, 

At refineries and other facilities that store 
large quantities of petroleum in aboveground tanks, it 
is likely that more than half the facilities have large 
underground reservoirs of petroleum which can migrate 
offslte if unaddressed. 

Our experience in North Florida is further evidence of this 
regulatory need. Texaco and Colonial selected a site for the 
first of what will be several tank farms in a major complex in 
the only high-recharge area in Jefferson county. The site is 
bracketed by four sinkholes in an area known to be sinkhole- 
prone. Cave divers explored one of the sinkholes in November and 
December, 1990 and discovered that it was part of a major 
underground water system which surfaces nine miles away to form 
one of Florida's last unspoiled rivers. We have edited footage 
of this historic dive into a 12-minute video which we can provide 
to this subcommittee. 

Also, the proposed Texaco and Colonial tank farm in Lloyd is 
in a community with no effective ability to monitor fire safety 
at the facility or to extinguish even minor fires. Jefferson 
County has only five paid firefighters for the entire county and 
no effective means to enforce fire safety or extinguish a fire. 
This is at a site less than 300 yards from Interstate Highway 10, 
surrounded by an area slated for intensive commercial and 
residential development. 

In other words, as a result of this lack of federal (and lax 
state) regulations on pipeline-connected petroleum tank farms, 
Texaco and Colonial can site this major new facility in one of 
the worst possible locations you could imagine. If federal 
regulations are adequate today, why can oil companies make such 
Irresponsible and dangerous decisions, without review by 
competent environmental authorities? 

LESSON #7 - PETROLEUM PIPELINES CAN BE MUCH SAFER AND 
CLEANER, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE THE LEAD, WHILE 
ALSO FULLY INVOLVING STATE REGULATORS. 

Despite the self-satisfaction of the industry and federal 
regulators, it is painfully obvious that improved technology and 
operating standards can make petroleum pipelines much safer and 
cleaner than they are, or will be, if congress continues to enact 
only marginal regulatory improvements. We propose later in this 
testimony several such standards which are far more promising 
than those this subcommittee is actively considering. 



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We are especially concerned that the Pipeline Safety Act 
excludes states at a time when effective regulation of pipelines 
calls for a federal and state partnership such as those formed in 
other areas of environmental regulation. It preempts any state 
safety regulation of interstate pipelines that exceeds federal 
standards, but leaves open the possibility of state environmental 
regulations that are stricter than Federal standards which are 
necessary for protecting unique environmental conditions in that 
state. States like Florida or Virginia should be able to adopt 
additional standards to protect their environment, especially 
groundwater. Legislation should make clear that states can 
impose additional environmental standards. 

We are also concerned that new pipelines incorporate 
improved technologies and operating procedures before major new 
pipelines are built. This is a special concern because Florida 
is on the verge of major expansion of petroleum pipelines in what 
the industry proclaims is the nation's third-largest gasoline 
market — and because of Florida's unique dependence on 
groundwater supplies which are close to the surface; 90 percent 
of the water Floridians use comes from underground aquifers. 

Only two inter-urban pipelines exist in Florida today, a 
Sunniland Pipeline carrying crude oil from Collier County to Port 
Everglades, and a GATX gasoline pipeline from Tampa to Orlando. 
Plans are underway to change this, however, because of the 
proposed Colonial project in North Florida and another proposed 
GATX pipeline from Tampa to Fort Myers. The GATX project would 
extend 128 miles through some of Southwest Florida's most 
vulnerable waterways and wetlands. 

In such a fragile environment, petroleum pipeline leaks and 
spills would have a devastating effect on water quality, with 
untold long-term effects on public health. 

Much stricter federal regulations could be the most 
effective means of protecting the public of Florida and other 
states, but not the only means. The Friends of Lloyd and other 
environmental organizations are preparing a petition for 
rulemaking to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, 
to establish a state program though administrative procedures. 

LESSON #8 - A NATIONAL STUDY BY AN UNBIASED AUTHORITY IS 
NEEDED TO DETERMINE THE PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS FOR PIPELINE 
POLLUTION 

It is painfully obvious that pipelines are a far greater 
source of oil pollution than acknowledged by the industry, 
regulators, the public or even most environmental organizations. 
This is because current information and data about leaks and 
spills are fragmented, incomplete, and anecdotal. The 
uncoordinated compilation and organization of this information 



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makes it impossible to determine accurately the relative dangers 
from different means of transporting fuels. 

The foremost sources today are industry organizations, such 
as the American Petrolexim Institute, and regulators like the DOT, 
which have no demonstrated ability to provide impartial 
information to policymakers. When the DOT commissioned a study 
of pipeline safety by the Transportation Research Board of 
National Research Council (Special Report 219, "Pipelines and 
Public Safety") , its narrow focus on safety ignored the enormous 
but unexamined problem of pipeline pollution. And as I found out 
in correspondence last year with the OPS, it had never studied 
the pollution record of pipelines, with the excuse, "we would 
have to undertake a significant amount of validation, analysis, 
and interpretation to arrive at any responsible conclusions." 

The problem is so alarming that the Congress should ask for 
a comprehensive study by an organization with no stake in either 
existing regulatory policies or economic interests. 

LESSON #9 — THE PIPELINE SAFETY ACT COULD MORE ACCURATELY BE 
CALLED "THE PIPELINE INDUSTRY PROTECTION ACT" 

Much of the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act amounts to 
strong protection of oil pipeline companies from other federal 
agencies, state and local governments, and citizens. It protects 
companies from state and local governments by preempting them 
from regulating the safety of interstate pipelines, except land- 
use decisions. Section 2002(d) states, 

... No state agency may adopt or continue in 
force any safety standards applicable to interstate 
pipeline facilities or the transportation of hazardous 
liquids associated with such facilities. 

When a pipeline spill occurs, the Pipeline Safety Act 
protects companies by preventing state or local governments from 
taking meaningful actions to prevent further spills. The case of 
Williams Pipeline Co. v. City of Mounds View, Minnesota, affirmed 
that the city could not prevent the restarting of the damaged 
pipeline only days after it had exploded and killed several 
people. A 1992 amendment to the Act permits state and local 
governments to comment on settlements between the OPS and 
pipeline companies, but this is hardly meaningful. 

Moreover, the Pipeline Safety Act protects pipeline 
companies from owners of property destroyed by pipeline spills or 
leaks. Section 2014(b) states. 

No civil action may be commenced [for injunctive 
relief] ... if the [Office of Pipeline Safety] has 
commenced and is diligently pursuing administrative 
proceedings . . . 



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It usually takes at least two years, and often more, for the OPS 
to complete these proceedings. As a result, virtually all owners 
of property destroyed by pipeline companies settle for pennies on 
the dollar, instead of waiting years just to file a claim for 
damage in court. 

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER ACTION 

We believe that adoption of the following suggestions can 
significantly improve the regulation of oil pipelines. 

1. Encourage states to adopt pipeline re gulatory programs . 
allowin g them to adopt environmental .an?l safety standa rds which 
may be stricter than federal standards, if the 40 states without 
such programs adopted an oil pipeline regulator program, it would 
vastly increase the resources put to that task. States have 
shown little interest because of industry lobbying, as in 
Florida, but also because federal preemption discourages them. 
There are many states with unique environmental vulnerabilities 
which should be alowed to protect them from inadequate federal 
regulation. We suggest the following language: 

Nothing in this act shall affect, or be construed 
or interpreted as preempting, the authority of any 
state or political subdivision thereof from imposing 
any additional liability or requirements with respect 
to — 

(1) the discharge of oil or other pollution by oil 
within such State; or 

(2) any removal activities in connection with such 
a discharge. 

2. Allow indi viduals to sue pipeline companie s f or civil 
penalt ies and damage to their property or selves as so on as the 
damage occurs. It makes little sense to insulate pipeline 
companies from lawsuits by individuals, and, in fact, it would 
strengthen pipeline safety if companies were exposed to this 
liability. It would bring the Pipeline Safety Act into 
consistency with other federal environmental laws, such as the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Most important, 
individuals should be able to recover damages in full, not be 
forced to settle for only a fraction of the damages, as they do 
now. 

3. Interested parti ps should have the ri gh t to inte rvene 
and pa rticipate in DOT administrative proceedings ^regarding 
violations., including spills and leaks. State and local 
governments, environmental organizations, and individuals have 
been frustrated for too long with their inability to participate 



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in negotiated settlements between DOT and pipeline companies. 
This and the previous suggestion would help provide citizen 
enforcement of pipeline regulations, as is the case in other 
areas of environmental law. 

4 . Regulations should r equir e pipelines companies to report 
all spills over one gal lon , or p roduc e a visible sheen on waters . 
or that re sult in iniurv or S lb o in d amage to company, private o r 
public property . This would make petroleum pipeline incident 
reporting requirements consistent with requirements for other 
forms of petroleum transportation. This would help overcome the 
lack of credible incident data which has helped ensure a 
widespread complacency about pipeline safety and pollution and 
lax regulatory standards. It hinders the development of 
meaningful risk analysis. And it hinders the ability of the 
public to inform themselves about the true extent of pipeline 
safety and pollution incidents. 

5 . If DOT continu es its weak r e sponse to new technical and 
operati on standar ds . Con gres s shou ld take up the task, it was 
only after Congress last year required the use of "smart pigs" 
that OPS took action. If this inaction continues. Congress must 
be more specific and forceful about technical standards. 

For example, we believe that regulations should require 
double-wall pipe for hazardous liquid pipelines, with continuous 
leak detection, in environmentally-sensitive and high-density 
population areas. Current detection devices cannot find small 
leaks that, over days and weeks, can contaminate groundwater with 
thousands of gallons of petroleum. Double-wall pipe can offer 
enhanced protection much the same as double-hull tankers, double- 
wall underground storage tanks, and secondary containment of 
aboveground storage tanks. 

We believe the bill should also require enhanced technical 
standards for cathodic protection design, hydrostatic test 
facilitation, pipeline valves, acoustic leak detection test 
points, monitoring wells, and continuous leak monitoring pipeline 
math modeling systems. 

For example, regulations should require hydrostatic testing 
of new pipelines at least every three years, and new pipelines 
should have the technical capabilities that make that possible. 
This is necessary because current leak detection methods cannot 
find small leaks which, over tine, can release large amounts of 
petroleum into the ground. Visual surveillance can miss leaks 
which do not produce dead surface vegetation or other telltale 
signs, pressure gauge calibrations miss slight drops caused by 
small" leaks, flow meters cannot correct for temperature changes 
which cause changes in volume, and "smart pigs" often miss faulty 
welds or other defects. Hydrostatic testing can detect leaks 
caused by smart pigs (which may, as they travel through pipes, 
dislodge scaling or other deposits which plugged existing leaks) 
and should be considered complementary to pigs. 



325 



20 



We are aware of many of the industry objections to such 
technical standards, and the negative response in 1990 to similar 
proposals by the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committees 
and the office of Pipeline Safety, but it is precisely because of 
the combined resistance of the regulated industry and current 
regulators that pipeline pollution is such a serious problem. If 
the subcommittee staff does not have the expertise to evaluate 
technical standards, perhaps the Office of Technology Assessment 
could provide assistance. 

6. Require J;hat_all members of the Tech nica l Hazardous 
Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee.haYe.no financj^l 
interes ts in the pipeline industry. The current requirement that 
only one public member have no financial interest is a pathetic 
mockery of the purpose of having one-third of the members of this 
committee represent the public interest. It means that the other 
three "public" members of the committee can continue to be 
lawyers, consultants and other individuals whose livelihoods 
depend on the pipeline industry. The four "public" committee 
members can represent the public only if they have no conflicts 
of interest, and there is no reason for them not to be conflict- 
free. 

7. Federal regulations should include a proce ss b y which 
pipe lines and related tank farms are sited. As we already do 
with interstate natural gas pipelines, we must recognize the 
crucial role which siting and routing decisions can have in 
minizing environmental damage. Given the sorry record of leaks 
and spills by pipelines, new routes should avoid wetlands, 
sinkhole-prone, aquifer-recharge areas and other environmentally- 
sensitive areas. There are no such federal regulations today. 

8. Appropr iations levels should, provide incre ased staffing 
for OP S and related agencies to ensure, .tha.t . ney levels reflect 
the ur gent need for improved inspection, da ta col lection and 
disseminati on . and develo pment of stringent. new. .technical and 

rating standards . 



This concludes our comments. Thank you for providing us the 
opportunity to present testimony to this subcommittee. 



326 



21 



Attachment 



COMPARATIVE SPILLS AND LEAKS BY PIPELINE AND WATER CARRIERS 

OF OIL AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1970-92 

BY VOLUME AND TON-MILES TRANSPORTED 







Pipeline 


Water 


Water Carrier 




Pipeline 1/ 


Ton-Miles zl 


Carrier 2.1 


Ton-Miles 


V?ar 


ppillB raals^ 


(billion?). 


Spillfii fcralBl 


f>?i;iions) 


1970 


22,097,418 


, n/a 


n/a 


n/a 


1971 


9,805,362 


n/a 


n/a 


n/a 


1972 


14,462,700 


475.8 


n/a • 


330.0 


1973 


15,727,404 


507.0 


4,404,390 


296.8 


1974 


12,127,962 


506.0 


3,535,385 


297.0 


1975 


13,312,614 


507.0 


11,296,669 


298.0 


1976 


10,060,722 


515.0 


11,018,486 


306.9 


1977 


9,403,338 


.546.0 


1,769,202 


333.3 


1978 


11,779,530 


585.0 


3,569,813 


530.6 


1979 


22,900,248 


608.3 


3,352,052 


522.9 


1980 


12,005,238 


588.2 


3,335,011 


617.8 


1981 


8,588,622 


563.7 


5,369,100 


617.2 


1982 


9,214,926 


565.7 


3,366,433 


616.9 


1983 


16,020,942 


556.1 


1,953,673 ■ 


630.5 


1984 


12,008,010 


568.1 


7,152,367 


570.7 


1985 


7,065,702 1/ 


564.3 


4,417,032 


590.4 


1986 


11,756,850 


577.9 


3,031,437 


568.1 


1987 


15,341,634 


586.8 


2,222,546 


566.5 


1988 


9,089,640 


601.1 


4,034,490 


543.7- 


1989 


8,452,076 


584,2 


12,126,258 


466.2 


1990 


5,206,e56 


583.8 


5,857,070 


454.5 


1991 


9,196,530 


577.8 


338,235 


436.4 


1992 


6,391,182 


n/a 


191,458 


n/a 


Total 


272,015,306 


11,167.8 


92,340,884 


9,594.4 


Average 


11,827,242 


558.4 


4,617,044 


479.7 


Avg Gals 20,928 




9,947 




Spilled 


per 








Billion 


Ton-Miles 









1/ Source: Annual Report of Pipeline Safety (for years 1978-90), 
Office of Pipeline Safety, U.S. Department of Transportation; 1991 
data from OPS letter of March 16, 1992. 

2.1 A ton-mile is movement of a ton of cargo one mile. Source: 
Annual Reports on Shifts in Petroleum Transportation, Association of 
Oil Pipe Lines, and Transportation in America. 

2/ Water Carriers are tankships and tank barges. Spills were in 
U.S. waters. Source: Oil Pollution Incidents, Marine Environmental 
Protection .Division, U.S. Coast Guard. 

1/ Annual pipeline spill totals from 1985 to present reflect OPS 
change to require reports for spills of more than 2,100 gallons. 
Until 1985," reports were required for spills of more than 210 gallons. 

PrepATBd by the Friends of the Aquifer, Tallahassee FL, May 14, 1993 



327 



STATEMENT BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS AND 
OVERSIGHT, COMMITTEE ON PUBUC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION, 
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

BY 

DR. STUART S. SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR, 
SECTION FOR COOPERATIVE WATER SUPPLY OPERATIONS, 
INTERSTATE COMMISSION ON THE POTOMAC RIVER BASIN 

MAY 18, 1993 



GOOD AFTERNOON MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. I AM 
DR. STUART SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR OF THE SECTION FOR COOPERATIVE WATER 
SUPPLY OPERATIONS AT THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION ON THE POTOMAC RIVER 
BASIN. I AM HERE REPRESENTING THE SUPPLIERS AND JURISDICTIONS 
RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING A SAFE AND RELL\BLE WATER SUPPLY TO THE 
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, NAMELY THE WASHINGTON SUBURBAN SANITARY 
COMMISSION, THE FAIRFAX COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY, THE WASHINGTON 
AQUEDUCT DIVISION OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, THE DISTRICT 
OF COLUMBIA, THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF 
VIRGINL\. I AM JOINED HERE TODAY BY MR. JOHN CORLESS FROM THE 
WASHINGTON SUBURBAN SANITARY COMMISSION, MR. PERRY COSTAS, THE 
CHIEF OF THE WASHINGTON AQUEDUCT DIVISION OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF 
ENGINEERS, AND MR. FRED MORIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE FAIRFAX COUNTY 
WATER AUTHORITY. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY ON THIS 
IMPORTANT MATTER. 



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328 



WE ARE HERE TODAY TO EXPRESS OUR GREAT CONCERN ABOUT THE SAFETY 
OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION'S WATER SUPPLY, DEMONSTRATED MOST 
RECENTLY BY THE SPILL FROM THE COLONL\L OIL TRANSMISSION PIPELINE ON 
SUGARLAND RUN. WE WOULD LIKE TO BRIEFLY DESCRIBE TO YOU THE 
MAGNITUDE OF THE RISK WE FACE AND SHARE WITH YOU SOME VERY SPECfflC 
CONCERNS WE HAVE REGARDING THE PHYSICAL INTEGRITY OF THE COLONIAL 
PIPELINE AND THE NEED FOR MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK TO THE REGION'S 
WATER SUPPLY. 

BEYOND THIS VERY SERIOUS REGIONAL INTEREST, WE BELIEVE THE MOST 
RECENT SPILL FROM THE COLONIAL PIPELINE AND THE ASSOCIATED THREATS 
TO THE POTOMAC RIVER AND THE WATER SUPPLY OF THE NATION'S CAPITAL, 
DEMONSTRATE HAZARDS THAT MAY EFFECT COMMUNITIES THAT ARE 
SIMILARLY LOCATED ALONG THE CORRIDORS CONTAINING OIL AND GAS 
TRANSMISSION PIPELINES. THE RECENT SPILL TO THE POTOMAC OFFERS BOTH 
CLEAR LESSONS, AS WELL AS A TIMELY OPPORTUNITY TO REASSESS PIPELINE 
SAFETY NEEDS AND THE MANAGEMENT OF RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH PIPELINE 
SPILLS BEFORE A MORE SERIOUS ACCIDENT OCCURS. 



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329 



BACKGROUND ON THE ICFRB 

THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION ON THE POTOMAC RIVER BASIN aCPRB) IS A NON- 
REGULATORY INTERSTATE COMPACT COMMISSION CREATED WITH THE 
POTOMAC BASIN CONSERVANCY COMPACT OF 1940, APPROVED BY THE U. S. 
CONGRESS ON JULY 11, 1940. THE 1940 COMPACT WAS DEVELOPED FOR THE 
PURPOSE OF CONTROLLING POLLUTION IN THE POTOMAC DRAINAGE BASIN, AND 
RATIFIED BY THE COMMONWEALTHS OF VIRGINL\ AND PENNSYLVANL\, THE 
STATES OF MARYLAND AND WEST VIRGINL\, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 
MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION ARE APPOINTED BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE 
(GOVERNOR, OR MAYOR) OF EACH SIGNATORY BODY ACCORDING TO THE 
PROVISIONS OF EACH PARTY'S RATIFYING STATUTE, AND BY THE PRESIDENT 
FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. IN 1970, THE COMPACT WAS AMENDED TO 
BROADEN THE COMMISSION'S COORDINATION, INVESTIGATION, AND EDUCATION 
RESPONSIBILITIES TO INCLUDE "DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION AND 
CONSERVATION OF THE WATER AND ASSOCIATED LAND RESOURCES OF THE 
BASIN." 

ICPRB'S ACnvmES CONTINUE TO EVOLVE IN RESPONSE TO THE CHALLENGES 
IN THE POTOMAC RIVER BASIN AND THE NEEDS OF OUR MEMBER 
JURISDICTIONS. OUR PROGRAM INCLUDES MAJOR COMMITMENTS IN 
SUPPORTING THE CLEANUP AND RESTORATION OF THE WATER RESOURCES AND 
LIVING RESOURCES OF THE POTOMAC RIVER AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY, 



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330 



RANGING FROM THE RESTORATION OF THE ANACX)STIA RIVER IN THE 
METROPOLITAN AREA TO THE REVITALIZATION OF THE NORTH BRANCH 
POTOMAC RIVER IN WESTERN MARYLAND AND THE PANHANDLE OF WEST 
VIRGINIA. ICPRB'S PUBUC INFORMATION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS 
COMPLEMENT INTEGRATED TECHNICAL PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT THE 
MANAGEMENT AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE WATER RESOURCES, LIVING 
RESOURCES, AND THE ASSOCIATED LAND RESOURCES OF THE POTOMAC RIVER 
BASIN. 

IN ORDER TO PROVIDE A CONTEXT FOR OUR CONCERNS REGARDING THE 
COLONIAL PIPELINE SPILL, I WOULD LIKE TO BRIEFLY SUMMARIZE ICPRB'S 
ACnvmES AND REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE MANAGEMENT OF WATER 
SUPPLY AND HAZARDOUS SPILLS. 

MElltOPOLITAN WATER SUPPLY 

WATER SUPPLY FOR THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA IS PROVIDED 
ALMOST ENTIRELY BY THREE SEPARATE UTOJITES: THE WASHINGTON 
AQUEDUCT DIVISION (A UNIT OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SERVING 
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PARTS OF VIRGINIA); THE WASHINGTON 
SUBURBAN SANITARY COMMISSION (SERVING THE MARYLAND SUBURBS): AND 
THE FAIRFAX COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY (SERVING THE VIRGINIA SUBURBS). 
ALL THREE ARE HIGHLY DEPENDENT ON POTOMAC RIVER FLOW AS A PRIMARY 



331 



SOURCE OF WATER SUPPLY. 

THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA HAS LONG UTIUZED THE POTOMAC 
RIVER FOR MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY. DROUGHTS IN 1966 AND 1977 
DEMONSTRATED THE FINITE NATURE OF THIS VALUABLE RESOURCE. THE 
PRESSURE FROM REGIONAL GROWTH AND INCREASING WATER USE HAD THE 
POTENHAL TO DEVELOP INTO A WASTEFUL COMPETITIVE STRUGGLE FOR USE 
OF THE LIMITED SUPPLY OF WATER. INSTEAD, THE STATE OF MARYLAND, THE 
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINL\, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE FEDERAL 
GOVERNMENT, ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT TO SHARE AVAILABLE 
RESOURCES DURING TIMES OF SHORTAGE. THE POTOMAC R IVER LOW FLOW 
ALLOCATION AGREEMENT . SIGNED IN 1978, ESTABLISHED THE FRAMEWORK AND 
ADMINISTRATIVE MECHANISM FOR EQUITABLY ALLOCATING THE AVAILABLE 
WATER RESOURCES IN TIME OF DROUGHT OR EMERGENCY. 

BACKGROUND ON THE ICPRB CO-OP SECTION 

RESPONDING TO THE NEED FOR INTERSTATE, INTER-JURISDICTIONAL 
COOPERATION, THE MEMBERS OF THE ICPRB COMPACT FORMED THE SECTION 
FOR COOPERATIVE WATER SUPPLY OPERATIONS (CO-OP SECTION) TO 
COORDINATE JOINT, COOPERATIVE OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE 
METROPOLITAN WATER SUPPLY. ICPRB WORKED WITH THE STATE AND 
FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS AS WELL AS THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY UTIUTIES 



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332 



TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA'S WATER 
SUPPLY NEEDS COULD BE REUABLY SATISFIED THROUGH JOINT, COOPERATIVE 
OPERATION. THIS RESULT ELIMINATED THE NEED TO CONSTRUCT 15 MAJOR 
RESERVOIRS, RECOMMENDED BY THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS (CORPS 
OF ENGINEERS) IN 1964, SAVING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGION 
SUBSTANITAL CONSTRUCTION COSTS (INTITALLY ESTIMATED AT $250 MILUON). 

COOPERATIVE OPERATING PROCEDURES WERE INSTITUTIONALIZED IN THE 
WATER SUPPLY COORDINATION AGREEMENT. SIGNED ON JULY 22, 1982 BY THE 
FAIRFAX COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY, THE WASHINGTON SUBURBAN SANITARY 
COMMISSION, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBDV, AND THE ICPRB. THE WATER 
SUPPLY COORDINATION AGREEMENT ESTABLISHES THE REGIONAL FRAMEWORK 
TO IMPLEMENT, MAINTAIN, AND REFINE THESE COOPERATIVE OPERATING 
PROCEDURES WITHIN THE ICPRB CO-OP SECTION. THE AGREEMENT DESIGNATES 
THE ICPRB CO-OP SECTION AS THE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR: ALLOCATING 
LOW FLOWS AND SCHEDULING RESERVOIR RELEASES TO ASSURE THE 
RELIABILITY OF THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY; MAINTAINING INSTREAM FLOWS 
FOR LIVING RESOURCES; ESTABUSHING, MAINTAINING AND EXECUTING JOINT 
AND COORDINATED OPERATING PROCEDURES TO MONITOR SUPPLY AND 
DEMAND DURING EMERGENCIES AND DROUGHTS; AND PERFORMING DROUGHT- 
MANAGEMENT ANALYSIS. 



333 



DROUGHT PREPAREDNESS 

IN EXECUTING THESE RESPONSIBILrnES, THE REGION'S SUSCEPTIBILITY TO 
DROUGHT IS REGULARLY EVALUATED AND REPORTED IN A SERIES OF WATER 
SUPPLY OUTLOOKS PREPARED BY THE CO-OP SECTION THROUGHOUT THE 
SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL. THE CO-OP SECTION MAINTAINS THE REGION'S 
DROUGHT PREPAREDNESS BY CONDUCTING AN ANNUAL "DROUGHT EXERaSE" 
TO ENHANCE READINESS AND TEST WATER RESOURCE OPERATING PROCEDURES 
DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED BY THE CO-OP SECTION. THE CO-OP SECTION 
HAS THE FURTHER RESPONSIBILITY OF PROTECTING INSTREAM BIOLOGICAL 
HABITAT INTEGRITY BY FORECASTING THE NEED FOR LOW FLOW 
AUGMENTATION RELEASES AND ALLOCATING EXISTING WITHDRAWALS TO 
ASSURE THAT REGIONALLY DETERMINED TARGET FLOWS REMAIN IN THE RIVER 
DOWNSTREAM OF WATER SUPPLY INTAKES. 

IN ADDITION, THE CO-OP SECTION PREPARES PERIODIC LONG-TERM WATER 
DEMAND FORECASTS AND ASSESSMENTS OF RESOURCES TO MEET THOSE 
DEMANDS. THE CO-OP SECTION ALSO WORKS WITH AND ON BEHALF OF THE 
COMBINED WATER UTIUTIES IN THE APPRAISAL OF NEW SOURCES OF WATER, 
AND SUPPORTS PLANNING FOR THE SIZING OF REPLACEMENT AND EXPANDED 
WATER TREATMENT WORKS. 



-7- 



334 



BEYOND THE DEVELOPMENT, MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT OF 
FORECASTING, PLANNING AND OPERATIONAL RESPONSIBILrnES, ICPRB HAS 
DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINS A TOXIC SPILL MODEL OF THE POTOMAC RIVER 
AND ITS MAJOR TRIBUTARIES. THIS MODEL IS USED TO ESTIMATE TIME OF 
TRAVEL WHEN DANGEROUS MATERIALS ARE SPILLED OR ACCIDENTALLY 
DISCHARGED INTO THE RIVER. WHEN CONTAMINATION ACCIDENTALLY ENTERS 
THE POTOMAC RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES, OUR STAFF WORKS IN CLOSE 
COOPERATION WITH THE BASIN STATES TO PROVIDE TRAVEL TIME 
INFORMATION AND TIMELY NOTfflCATION TO WATER SUPPLIERS ALONG THE 
RIVER. 

TOXIC SPILL MANAGEMENT IN THE POTOMAC RIVER BASIN 

THE ICPRB TOXIC SPILL MODEL SIMULATES THE TRANSPORT OF A DISSOLVED 
POLLUTANT FROM THE POINT THE POLLUTANT ENTERS THE RIVER TO POINTS 
OF PARTICULAR CONCERN DOWNSTREAM (E.G. MUNICIPAL WATER INTAKES) 
AND ESTIMATES THE TIME OF TRAVEL FOR DANGEROUS MATERIALS THAT ARE 
ACCIDENTALLY DISCHARGED TO THE RIVER. SEVERAL RECENT SPILLS IN 
RIVERS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE BASIN UNDERSCORE THE VALUE OF THIS 
METHODOLOGY. 

THE POTOMAC RIVER PROVIDES AN INCREASING PORTION OF THE WATER 
SUPPLY FOR THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA. THE DRAINAGE AREA 



335 



XJPSTREAM OF THE INTAKES FOR THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY UnLITIES IS 
APPROXIMATELY 11,000 SQ. MILES (28,490 KM^. OVER THIS LARGE AREA 
SIGNmCANT POTENTL«iL EXISTS FOR ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGES OF TOXIC OR 
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TO THE POTOMAC RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES, THAT 
COULD TEMPORARILY THREATEN THE POTABILITY OF THE WATER. THE RISK 
OF AN ACCIDENT IS REAL - A NUMBER OF POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SPILLS 
HAVE REACHED THE POTOMAC RIVER IN RECENT YEARS. DIESEL FUEL, RAW 
SEWAGE, AND OTHER MATERIALS HAVE SPILLED INTO THE RIVER AND BEEN OF 
SUFFICIENT CONCERN TO REQUIRE USE OF THE MODEL TO ESTIMATE TIME OF 
TRAVEL TO WATER SUPPLY INTAKES. ALTHOUGH, IN MOST CASES, THE SMALL 
QUANTITIES SPILLED OR THE LONG DISTANCES TO INTAKES HAVE MINIMIZED 
RISKS, THE MARCH 28, 1993 OIL PIPELINE LEAK IN FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA 
CAUSED AN EXCEPTIONALLY SERIOUS THREAT TO THE WMA WATER SUPPLIES. 
IT IS THIS THREAT, AND THE HAZARDS POSED BY ACCIDENTAL SPILLS OF THIS 
TYPE THAT BRINGS US BEFORE YOU THIS AFTERNOON. 

SAFETY OF THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY 

AS YOU KNOW, THE SPILL OF DIESEL FUEL FROM COLONL\L PIPELINE'S 36-INCH 
TRANSMISSION LINE ON MARCH 28, 1993, REPRESENTED THE LATEST AND MOST 
SERIOUS EVENT IN A TROUBLED HISTORY OF CONTAMINANT SPILLS IN THE 
POTOMAC RTVER BASIN. AT THEIR 15TH ANNUAL MEETING ON APRIL 29, 1993, 
THE SIGNATORIES OF THE POTOMAC RIVER LOW FLOW ALLOCATION 



336 



AGREEMENT UNANIMOUSLY AGREED TO DIRECT THE ICPRB CO-OP SECTION TO 
REPORT TO YOU THEIR SERIOUS CONCERNS REGARDING THE SAFETY OF THE 
WATER SUPPLY FOR THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION. 

THESE CONCERNS ARE WIDELY SHARED AS DEMONSTRATED IN THE VIRGINL\ 
HOUSE OF DELEGATES' JOINT RESOLUTION NUMBER 1005 (ATTACHED), OFFERED 
TO THE VIRGINL\ GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT THE REQUEST OF GOVERNOR 
DOUGLAS WILDER ON APRIL 7, 1993. THE JOINT RESOLUTION NOTES THAT THE 
COLONL\L PIPELINE HAS EXPERIENCED NINE SPILLS SINCE 1977, AND PETITIONS 
THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT TO STRENGTHEN THE ENFORCEMENT AND 
INSPECTION PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL HAZARDOUS UQUID PIPELINE SAFETY 
ACT OF 1977. 

THE HISTORY OF EVENTS PRECEDING THE COLONIAL PIPELINE SPILL SUGGESTS 
THAT A HIGH RISK TO THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY EXISTS, REQUIRING YOUR 
ACTION AND ASSISTANCE TO REDUCE THE THREAT FROM EXISTING PIPELINES 
THROUGH EFFECTIVE LEGISLATIVE, REGULATORY, AND ENFORCEMENT ACTION. 

MAGNITUDE OF EXISTING RISK 

TO APPRECL\TE THE MAGNITUDE OF THE EXISTING RISK, ONE NEED ONLY 
IMAGINE THE RECENT COLONL\L PIPELINE SPELL OCCURRING UNDER SUGHTLY 
DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES. AS DAMAGING AND DISRUPTIVE AS THE SPILL 



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337 



WAS, FORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOWED THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION 
TO ESCAPE WITH RFJjtTTVFT.Y MINOR IMPACT. THE UNUSUALLY HIGH 
STREAMFLOW IN THE POTOMAC DURING THE SPILL CAUSED MUCH OF THE 
CONTAMINATION TO BE QUICKLY TRANSPORTED DOWNSTREAM PAST THE 
MAJOR WATER SUPPLY INTAKES SERVING THE WASHINGTON, D.C., 
METROPOLITAN AREA. THE LOCATION OF THE PIPELINE BREAK SOME EIGHT 
MILES FROM THE POTOMAC ALSO ALLOWED PARTL\L CONTAINMENT AND 
RECOVERY OF THE PRODUCT PRIOR TO REACHING THE MAINSTEM OF THE 
RTVER. THE CONTAMINATION THAT DID REACH THE RIVER HUGGED THE 
VIRGINL\ SHORELINE, AVOIDING THE INTAKES OF THE WASHINGTON SUBURBAN 
SANITARY COMMISSION, THE CITY OF ROCKVILLE AND THE WASHINGTON 
AQUEDUCT DIVISION OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. 

EVEN SO, DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 28 TO APRIL 23, 1993 THE FAIRFAX 
COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY'S CORBAUS WATER TREATMENT PLANT WAS 
CLOSED FOR 11 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. FOR MORE THAN THREE WEEKS THE 
PLANT OPERATED WITH PERIODS OF TOTAL SHUTDOWN AND INTERMITTENT RE- 
STARTS, LEAVING THE PRODUCTION RATE FAR BELOW DESIRED CAPACITY. 
EXTRAORDINARY MONITORING MEASURES CONTINUE, ESPECIALLY DURING 
RAIN EVENTS WHEN RESIDUAL OIL IS FLUSHED INTO THE RIVER. 

AS THE ACCOMPANYING MAP SHOWS, THIS PIPELINE, LIKE SEVERAL OTHERS, 



-11- 



338 



CROSSES UNDER THE POTOMAC RIVER JUST UPSTREAM OF THE WATER SUPPLY 
INTAKES FOR MOST OF THE REGION'S WATER PURVEYORS. IF THE PIPELINE 
BREAK HAD OCCURRED DIRECTLY IN THE RIVER DURING SUMMER CONDITIONS 
OF LOW STREAMFLOW, THE IMPACT ON THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY WOULD 
HAVE BEEN DEVASTATING. UNDER LOW FLOW CONDITIONS, A SPILL IN THE 
RIVER COULD BE EXPECTED TO LINGER FOR WEEKS, IF NOT MONTHS, 
SPREADING TO BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVER AND AFFECTING EVERY 
DOWNSTREAM WATER SUPPLY. UNDER THE MOST OPTIMISTIC CIRCUMSTANCES, 
THE WASHINGTON AQUEDUCT DIVISION OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF 
ENGINEERS (PROVIDING TREATED WATER TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 
ARLINGTON COUNTY AND FALLS CHURCH), WITH NO ALTERNATE SOURCE OF 
SUPPLY, WOULD RUN OUT OF POTABLE WATER IN LESS THAN 36 HOURS. THE 
UNTREATABLE NATURE OF THIS TYPE OF CONTAMINATION WOULD RESULT IN 
THE DISRUPTION OR FORCED CLOSURE OF MOST MUNICIPAL AND COMMERCL\L 
ACnvmES THROUGHOUT THE REGION. 

IN ADDITION TO THIS ECONOMIC IMPACT, THE DIFFICULT CHOICE QUICKLY 
WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE WHETHER TO RISK PUBLIC HEALTH BY PUMPING 
CONTAMINATED WATER INTO THE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM IN ORDER TO 
MAINTAIN FIRE PROTECTION. THE PUBLIC HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH 
A DECISION COULD BE SEVERE, REQUIRING A MASSIVE MOBILIZATION OF 
EMERGENCY DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES AND PUBLIC EDUCATION AND 



-12- 



339 

INFORMATION EFFORTS. BEYOND THE IMMEDIATE CONCERNS WITH PUBUC 
HEALTH AND SAFETY, A LONGER-LASTING IMPACT OF SUCH A DEQSION WOULD 
BE THE LENGTHY AND EXPENSIVE CLEANUP OF THE CONTAMWATED WATER 
SUPPLY INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING THE ENTIRE TREATMENT AND 
DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS 

RECENT SPILLS, INCLUDING THE MARCH SPILL FROM THE COLONIAL PIPELINE, 
INDICATE THESE RISKS ARE REAL AND CONTINUING, AND REQUIRE POSmVE 
ACTION ON THE FOLLOWING ISSUES: 

1. WE BELIEVE THE HISTORY OF PROBLEMS . WITH THIS PARTICULAR 
PIPELINE RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS REGARDING ITS PHYSICAL 
INTEGRITY. A THOROUGH INDEPENDENT TECHNICAL REVIEW AND 
INVESTIGATION OF THE CONSTRUCTION AND INSPECTION RECORDS OF 
THIS PIPELINE, AS WELL AS A REVIEW OF STATE AND FEDERAL 
CONSTRUCTION AND INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS, IS AN ESSENTIAL FIRST 
STEP. 

2. IN ADDITION TO THIS INDEPENDENT REVIEW, THE HISTORY OF 
PROBLEMS WITH THIS AND OTHER PIPELINES, AS WELL AS THE 
ENORMOUS HAZARD POSED BY ANOTHER FAILURE, CLEARLY 
DEMONSTRATE THE NEED TO IMPLEMENT STATE-OF-THE-ART 



■13- 



340 



TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE THE RISKS FROM EXISTING PIPELINES. 
ADVANCED DETECTION SYSTEMS LINKED TO CLOSELY SPACED 
AUTOMATED SHUTOFF VALVES ARE ESSENHAL. FOR EXAMPLE, 
ALTHOUGH THE COLONIAL PIPELINE SHUTDOWN SOON AFTER A PRESSURE 
DROP WAS NOTICED, NEARLY A HALF-MILUON GALLONS OF OIL WAS 
LOST TO THE ENVIRONMENT. AUTOMATED INSPECTION AND CONTROL 
TECHNOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE AND USED IN MANY HIGH-HAZARD 
PIPELINES; PROTECTION OF THE WATER SUPPLY FOR THE NATION'S 
CAPITAL DEMANDS NO LESS. 

3. THE COLONL\L AND OTHER RIGHTS-OF-WAY CROSS NOT ONLY THE 
POTOMAC RIVER, BUT ALSO THE WATERSHEDS OF THE OCCOQUAN AND 
PATUXENT RIVERS. THESE WATERSHEDS PROVIDE THE OTHER RAW 
WATER SUPPLIES THAT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO SERVE THE NEEDS OF 
THE WASHINGTON, D.C., METROPOLITAN AREA, AND THE ONLY SOURCE 
OF SUPPLY THAT WOULD BE AVAILABLE IN THE EVENT OF A LARGE SPILL 
IN THE POTOMAC. WE NOTE THAT THE OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR (WHICH 
PROVIDED MOST OF THE POTABLE SUPPLY TO NORTHERN VIRGINL\ 
DURING THE RECENT COLONL\L PIPELINE SPILL) WAS THREATENED BY A 
336,000 GALLON SPILL FROM A COLONIAL PIPELINE IN 1980. IN VIEW OF 
THE MAGNITUDE OF THE THREAT TO BOTH THE POTOMAC AND THE 
ENTIRE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY, LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY 



-14- 



341 



ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ASSURE THE DESIGNATION OF A "UNIQUE 
HIGH-HAZARD CORRIDOR" WITHIN WHICH THE MOST STRINGENT 
MONITORING AND CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES WOULD BE REQUIRED. 

THESE PRECAUTIONS NEED TO BE REQUIRED OF ALL PIPELINES TRANSPORTING 

CONTAMINANTS IN THE CORRIDOR. 

CONCLUSIONS 

THE SIGNATORIES OF THE POTOMAC RIVER LOW FLOW ALLOCATION 
AGREEMENT ARE UNANIMOUS IN URGING DECISIVE ACTION TO REDUCE THE 
RISK OF PIPELINE SPILLS TO THE POTOMAC RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES. 
ACCORDINGLY, STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATORY AGENCIES WITH 
APPROPRL\TE JXJRISDICnON ARE BEING CONTACTED TO EMPHASIZE NEEDED 
ACTIONS INCLUDING: 

(1) INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF THE PHYSICAL INTEGRITY AND 
OPERATION OF THE COLONIAL PIPELINE AND SIMILAR PIPELINES IN THE 
POTOMAC RIVER BASIN, INCLUDING THE LOCATION OF VALVE 
INSTALLATIONS AND DETAILS RELATING TO CONTROL AND SHUT-OFF 
PROCEDURES; 

(2) ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE EXISTING PIPELINES, INCLUDING 
RETROFrmNG AS NECESSARY WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART MONITORING AND 



-15- 



342 



CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES COMMENSURATE WITH THE HAZARD (AS AN 
EXAMPLE, ULTRASONIC FLOWMETERS ARE UTILIZED ON MANY HIGH RISK 
PIPELINES); 

(3) COMPREHENSIVE MONITORING AND INSPECTION REPORTING 
PROCEDURES; AND 

(4) THE DESIGNATION OF A "HIGH HAZARD CORRIDOR" WITHIN WHICH 
THE BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY IS EMPLOYED TO MONITOR, OPERATE 
AND CONTROL PIPELINE OPERATIONS, AND PREPARE FOR ACCIDENTS. 

THE CO-OP UTILrnES AND MEMBERS OF THE ICPRB CO-OP SECTION STRONGLY 
URGE CONGRESS TO REVIEW APPLICABLE LEGISLATION, REGULATIONS, AND 
MONITORING AND INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS TO ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS. 
THE RECENT COLONIAL PIPELINE SPILL TO THE POTOMAC INDICATES THE 
VULNERABILITY OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL AREA'S WATER SUPPLY, AND 
REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION TO IMPLEMENT TIMELY AND EFFECTIVE 
MEASURES THAT WILL REDUCE THESE RISKS. 

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY ON THIS TIMELY 
MATTER OF GREAT IMPORTANCE. YOUR SUPPORT AND HELP IN THESE MATTERS 
WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECL\TED. 



-16- 



343 




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344 



1993 SPECIAL SESSION 



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54 



HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. lOOS 

Offered April 7, 1993 
Memorializing Congress and the Clinton Administration to strengthen the Pipeline Safety 
Act. 



Patrons— Plum, Callahan and Mims; Senators: Howell and Waddell 



Introduced at the Request of the Governor 



Referred to the Committee on Rules 



WHEREAS, on March 28, 1993, Colonial Pipeline Company's pipeline experienced a 
break which resulted in a spill of 330.000 gallons of diesel fuel into Sugarland Run, a 
tributary of the Potomac River; and 

WHEREAS, the spill resulted in extensive damage to a valuable natural resource and 
near total destruction of the aquatic life in a 10-mile stretch of Sugarland Run; and 

WHEREAS, an oil sheen was evident on several miles of the Potomac River, and a 
Fairfax County drinking water intake on the Potomac was closed for over a week; and 

WHEREAS, the Colonial Pipeline has experienced nine spills since 1977 including major 
spills of 212,000 gallons of kerosene in a tributary of the Rappahannock River in Orange 
County in 1989, 85,000 gallons of fuel oil in Chesterfield County, 65,000 gallons of marine 
diesel fuel in Chesapeake and a 336,000 gallon spill into Bull Run that threatened the 
Occoquan water supply in 1980; and 

WHEREAS, the authority for pipeline safety resides with the federal government's 
Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety; and 

WHEREAS, the federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979. the regulations 
promulgated under it. and the enforcement of those regulations are grossly inadequate; 
now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring. That the General 
Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia memorialize the Congress of the United States 
and the Qinton Administration to aggressively pursue a strengthening of the Pipeline Safety 
Act and the enforcement and inspection provisions of the Act; and, be it 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Qerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of 
this resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States 
House of Representatives, the President of the Senate of the United States, and the 
members of the Virginia delegation to the United States Congress that they may be 
apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter. 



Official Use By Clerks 



Agreed to By 
The House of Delegates 

without amendment D 
with amendment D 
substitute □ 

substitute w/amdt D 



Agreed to By The Senate 

without amendment D 
with amendment O 
substitute D 

substitute w/amdt D 



Date: 



Date: 



Clerk of the House of Delegates 



Clerk of the Senate 



345 



TESTIMONY OF CONGRESSMAN FRANK R. WOLF 

before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

Public Works and Transportation Committee 

May 18, 1993 

I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this 
hearing on the recent Colonial pipeline break in northern Virginia. 
As the chairman and members of this committee know, the Potomac 
River tributary, Sugarland Run, traverses Virginia's 10th 
Congressional District which I represent. This bucolic area is 
one of the Commonwealth's most beautiful and I know I don't need 
to tell this committee what an unwelcome intrusion was the 
introduction of 400,000 gallons of diesel into its environment. 

In addition to raising safety concerns, disasters like this 
take a tremendous toll on the quality of life for community 
residents. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly 
commend the Fairfax County Hazmat Team and 40 other federal, state 
and local agencies which have responded and are continuing 
remediation. 

Also, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this opportunity to share 
with the committee my concerns and my thoughts on possible steps 
to avoid these disasters, or at least mitigate their impact. I 
will be brief, as I know the committee has several expert witnesses 
to hear today, including the National Transportation Safety Board 
(NTSB) and the General Accounting Office (GAO) . 

Before focusing on some "preventive medicine" that could 
possibly alter what seems to be a perpetual response mode, I would 
like to raise the question of whether the Office of Pipeline Safety 
(OPS) is misplaced in the federal hierarchy. 

IS THERE A MORE COMPATIBLE "HOME" 
FOR PIPELINE SAFETY? 

It has been suggested that OPS does not belong in the 
Department of Transportation (DOT) and would more appropriately fit 
into the portfolio of another federal agency such as the Department 
of Energy (DOE) . I believe this suggestion deserves the attention 
of this committee. The nation's pipeline network is a 
transportation mode only in the sense that utility line networks 
also "transport" a product. And it is, after all, energy products 
that are being transported by pipelines. 

In addition to a more natural "fit" in terms of subject 
matter, the DOE would seem a more compatible home for pipeline 
safety for two other reasons. (1) This agency has expertise with 
costs and market circumstances affecting the energy industry, which 
is important since any regulatory activity needs cost-benefit 
analysis. (2) DOE also has extensive emergency response capability 
with respect to energy catastrophes. 



346 



Mr. Wolf's testimony - 5/18/93 - page 2 

The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has 
become the "catch-all" office in DOT which acquires all of the 
tasks that do not really fit elsewhere in the department. One of 
the responsibilities "housed" by RSPA is, of course, the Office of 
Pipeline Safety (OPS) which we are discussing today. 

RSPA's primary responsibility presumably is research and it 
ably carries out most of this responsibility at the Volpe National 
Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And I 
might add that as far as public notoriety goes, the Volpe Center 
is one of the nation's best kept secrets. The Volpe Center 
performs outstanding research in important areas such as 
Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS) , air traffic control 
system modernization, and human factors engineering. The Center 
is in great demand from both governmental and private sector 
"clients. " 

As you know, aside from its primary research mission, RSPA's 
other responsibilities in addition to pipeline safety include 
hazardous materials (hazmat) safety, emergency transportation, 
airline statistics, automated tariffs, university research, and the 
Transportation Safety Institute. 

Mr. Chairman, I believe that while this group is one of the 
most enthusiastic and hard-working in the DOT, RSPA simply does not 
have the staff or the resources to carry out all the duties 
assigned to it, the nation's pipeline network being one of those 
areas that is not receiving adequate oversight. And I want to 
emphasize that I am not being critical of RSPA, which cheerfully 
performs admirably on a shoestring budget. 

I will give you a graphic example of just how overwhelmed this 
office is. In a recent hearing of the transportation 
appropriations subcommittee on which I serve as the ranking 
Republican, we were discussing RSPA's FY 1994 budget request for 
$2.6 million to contract out the review of detailed emergency 
response plans submitted by private pipeline operators as required 
by the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990. Mr. Chairman, there is a 
room at RSPA literally stacked with hundreds of plans awaiting 
review . 

RSPA asked for an appropriation to contract out the review of 
these emergency response plans because it doesn't have sufficient 
manpower to perform the review in-house. In fact, it was brought 
to my attention that RSPA had discussed possibly hiring temporary 
or part-time graduate students to oversee this process. 

One, I believe that oversight of emergency response plans has 
to be higher up the chain of command. And, second, I believe that 
this review would be a "federal responsibility" rather than a 
"contractor responsibility" under existing 0MB guidelines which 
differentiate between the two. 



347 



Mr. Wolf's testimony - 5/18/93 - page 3 

I do not know whether, prior to the spill, Colonial Pipeline's 
plan had been read or was gathering dust like all the others in 
the RSPA "holding tank." Neither am I claiming that prior review 
of this plan would have prevented the spill we are discussing 
today. However, it is important to remember that a major factor 
in the high-volume release of product into the environment during 
the Colonial spill was the delay of up to one-and-one-half hours 
in getting to the manual valves. This would underscore the 
importance of an emergency response plan, as well as the obvious 
assumption that these plans need prompt review so that emergency 
strategies can be altered as necessary, and hopefully before 
disaster strikes. 

CAN SOME IMMEDIATE STEPS 
MAKE PIPELINE SAFETY MORE PROACTIVE? 

Mr. Chairman, there are three items I believe we should 
"pluck" from a morass of unimplemented safety recommendations. 
Rulemakings have been legislatively mandated in these areas, but 
are currently moving with the speed of molasses. 

I. Greater use of internal inspection devices ("smart oias"^ 

Last year, the GAG concluded that the widespread use of 
sophisticated electronic inspection devices "could save lives and 
protect property by improving the safety and reliability of natural 
gas and hazardous liquids transmission pipelines." 

In 1988, Congress required RSPA to establish minimum federal 
safety standards so that all new and replacement pipelines could 
accommodate "smart pigs." As the committee knows, these 
instrumented devices are long, so many cannot negotiate a pipeline 
with sharp bends. Also, the pigs cannot be used in pipelines with 
valves that do not fully open. Prior to this 1988 Congressional 
mandate, the NTSB had recommended in 1987 that RSPA require 
petroleum and natural gas pipeline transmission operators to make 
modified and repaired pipelines piggable. 

RSPA has not issued either the required regulations or a 
mandated feasibility study due in May 1990 on requiring the 
inspection of transmission pipelines with smart pigs. The reason 
for the delay as cited to the GAG: manpower and money shortages and 
a need to give more attention to other matters. 

As I indicated above, Mr. Chairman, it's my sense that RSPA 
is trying to do too much with too little. And the result may be 
that this very important safety function, by virtue of simply being 
misplaced in the government, is getting short shrift. 



348 



Mr. Wolf's testimony - 5/18/93 - page 5 

III. Measures to reduce third party damage . 

According to the DOT, third party excavation damage is the 
single most common cause of pipeline accidents. 

In the case of the Colonial spill, the NTSB has issued a 
preliminary report indicating that "microscopic viewing of the 
damage disclosed what appeared to be small metal folds in the 
deeper areas of the mechanical damage that were indicative of an 
object sliding longitudinally against the pipe." In other words, 
the Safety Board believes at this time that the pipeline rupture 
was caused by a scrape. Obviously, definitive conclusions will 
have to await NTSB's final report. 

Again, this is an area where there is an ongoing rulemaking 
and I would urge the committee to do what it can to speed the 
process up. I am referring to the rulemaking concerning "one- 
call" systems such as Miss Utility. I believe that all owners of 
underground utilities should be required to belong to a one-call 
system so that prior to any excavation, a call can be made which 
will result in the location of all underground utilities. 

In addition, all owners of underground utilities should be 
required to provide sufficient inspection when underground 
utilities are being installed to ensure that the installation 
conforms to all applicable rules and regulations, such as depth and 
location requirements. I am told that it is often discovered that 
underground utilities which are required to be located three feet 
in the ground are located just under the surface. 

Finally, I believe that civil penalties should be assessed 
when third party negligence is determined in ruptured pipeline 
incidents. Obviously, the liability of the utility owner should 
also be addressed in the event of incorrectly located utilies. 
Also, there would have to be an appeals process and some 
determination of the logistics of collection. I think the revenue 
generated from these fines should be dedicated to the costs of 
oversight and enforcement of the pipeline safety program, with the 
possible result of providing additional inspectors and other 
resources for a more efficient program. 

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my testimony, and let me say 
again that I salute your leadership in quickly holding a hearing 
to look into this matter, and I appreciate the opportunity to voice 
my concerns and make some suggestions. 



349 



Mr. Wolf's testimony - 5/18/93 - page 4 

I would hope that this committee would push for a speedy final 
rulemaking in this area, particularly since private operators 
aren't likely to take these steps in the absence of federal 
direction. 

While certainly not a panacea, smart pig technology appears 
to be the "only game in town" for the moment. 

As the GAO noted in its recommendation, "Smart pig inspections 
have demonstrated the potential for identifying internal andternal 
corrosion and other pipeline flaws and for reducing pipeline 
incidents. Smart pig use, supplemented by visual inspection 
through localized excavations is the only reliable technique 
currently available (emphasis added) for detecting internal and 
external pipe corrosion." 

II. More frequent spacing for remote shut-off valves . 

Mr. Chairman, this is another issue pending on a long-delayed 
rulemaking docket at RSPA. And I suspect that the reason is, 
again, too little resources for an agency with such a diverse 
mission. 

For many years, the NTSB has repeatedly requested that RSPA 
issue regulations requiring excess flow valves. In addition, the 
1992 Pipeline Safety Act requires RSPA to issue regulations in this 
area. And, indeed, two years ago, RSPA issued an advance notice 
of proposed rulemaking on excess flow valves. However, the next 
step in regulatory process, issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) has not yet followed, even though the preliminaries were 
initiated two years ago. 

I hope this committee will do what it can to speed up action 
in this area, as well as urging frequent spacing of these valves 
which will maximize protection, especially in heavily populated 
urban areas and areas with fragile ecosystems. 

As you may have noted in this morning's Washington Post , major 
water suppliers recommended closer spacing of pipeline shutoff 
valves. The automated valves that shut the Colonial pipeline were 
more than 30 miles apart on either side of the Potomac, leaving 
considerable oil still in the closed section of the pipeline to 
leak out. Had this disaster occurred about two months later in the 
summer when both river levels and water demand are higher, these 
experts said we could have faced a Washington area without an 
adequate supply of potable water. 



350 



ADDITIONS TO THE RECORD 



METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS 



Local governments working together 
for a better metropolitan region 



Oistrici of Columbta 
Bowie 
CollesePark 
Frederick County 
Caithersburf 
Creenbelt 

Montgomery County 
Prince Georgcrs County 
RockviUe 
TakomaPark 
Alcitandha 
Ariinfton County 
FairtiK 

Fair&x County 
Falls Church 
Loudoun County 
Prince wtlKam County 



Testimony of the Honorable Derick P. Berlage 

Chairman, Environmental Policy Committee 

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 

and 

Member, Montgomery County, Maryland, Council 

to the 

United States House of Representatives 

Public Works and Transportation Committee 

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

May 18, 1993 



777 North Capitol street N.E. Suite 300 Washington. D.C. 20002-42M (202)963-3200 FAX (202) 962-3201 



351 

Testimony of the Honorable Derick P. Berlage 

Chairman, Environmental Policy Committee 

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 

and 

Member, Montgomery County, Maryland, Council 

to the 

United States House of Representatives 

Public Works and Transportation Committee 

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

May 18, 1993 



RE: Special Congressional Investigation on the March 28, 1993 Sugarland Run Pipeline 
Oil SpiU 



Chairman Borski and Members of the Subcommittee: 

My name is Eterick P. Berlage and I eim presently cheiirman of the Metropolitan 
Washington Council of Governments Environmental Policy Committee and a member 
of the Montgomery Coimty, Maryland, Council. I am pleased to have the opportunity 
to present comments to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight regarding 
the March 28, 1993, Sugarland Run Pipeline Oil Spill. 



Background 

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is a regional 
orgcmization which over the past thirty-five years has provided a regional forum for the 
discussion and resolution of a wide array of transportation, environmental, public safety, 
human services, economic zmd informational issues. The organization is comprised of 




352 



seventeen member local government jurisdictions throughout the Washington 
metropolitan area. The Environment2il Policy Committee (EPQ, of which I <im chairmaiv 
is the principal policy advisor on environmental issues to CCXj's Board of Directors. 
Membership in the EPC includes elected officials from all seventeen local government 
members of COG. 

The incident at Sugarland Run was a significant event highlighting many 
important environmental questions. As a result of regional concerns about this incident, 
and concern that current federal funding may not be adequate to fully implement 
importcmt pipeline preventative measures, on April 14, 1993, the COG Board of Directors 
held a speciaJ briefing on the Sugcirland Run oil spill. The Board asked that the incident 
be reviewed and that recommendations be developed that would prevent and /or 
minimize the re-occurrence of a similar incident. They ailso expressed strong concerns 
regarding the adequacy of preventative regulations and relief that the incident was not 
far worse in magnitude. The Board then directed my committee to prepaire and submit 
written /oral testimony on this incident on behalf of COG to the Subcommittee on 
Investigations and Oversight of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee. 
The ir\formation that is presented here reflects a significant expenditure of time and 
effort by the COG staff and its member jurisdictions in order to obtain and analyze 
accurate and timely information on the oil spill incident The findings of that 
investigation and the ensuing discussions that have taken place since the March 28, 1993, 
incident are reflected in the follov^nng text. 

The Sugarland Run incident also alerted regional officials that had there been a 
more wddespread impact to regional water supplies that the region may not have been 
prepared to smoothly deal with such an incident . There is currentiy in place a Regional 
Water Supply Emergency Agreement; however, because of its age, it needs to be 
modified and updated. Toward that end COG staff had previously reviewed the 
adequacy of the Agreement to provide for coordinated and orderly response to 
situations such as Sugarland Run. An earlier internal COG review noted that several 
modifications to the agreement were necessary. In order to make such changes several 
meetings with key regional organizations will be necessary. Plans are currentiy being 
developed by COG to arrsmge such meetings. 



Major Impacts of the March 28, 1993 Event 

The March 28, 1993, Sugarland Run pipeline rupture of diesel fuel affected not 
only an isolated loc«d arcci, but the entire metropolitan Washington region as well. It 
raised concerns about our ability to adequately manage the pipeline trar\sportation of 
hazardous liquid throughout the region and to ask ourselves if more can be done to 
improve its management The 36-inch diameter pipe that ruptured behind the Reston 
Medical Center in Fairfax County, Virginia, was a point along a 5,200-mile interstate 
petroleum pipeline that runs from Texcis to New York, and which is capable of pumping 



353 



22,400 gallons of liquid petroleum product per minute. The pipeline is owned by 
Colonicil, which is the largest pipeline transporter of refined petroleum product in the 
United States. As a result of this rupture, approximately 400,000+ gallons of diesel 
product were released. Diesel product entered the nearby waters of the Sugarland Run 
in Fairfax County and flowed through the northeast portion of Loudoun County, 
Virginia, where it entered the Potomac River at the Algonkian Regional Park. Once 
product entered the Potomac it flowed closely along the Virgirua shoreline until it 
reached the turbulent waters of the Little Falls area of the Potomac. From this point and 
downriver to the Mason Neck area of Virginia, a petroleum sheen was visible on the 
entire width of the river. 

The impact on the local and regional environment is still being tallied and will 
likely be felt for years to come. The spill affected surface waters and soils and caused 
damage and destruction to the regional flora and fauna. While the groundwater appears 
to have been unscathed, monitoring is continuing. The costs for the local, regional, state 
and federal governments will certainly be significant. The overall response and 
coordination during this incident was good, but like many incidents of this magnitude, 
improvements can and should be made. In a number of incidents citizens were forced 
from their homes and if the response had been less effective, many more would have 
been displaced. The spill also caused disruption of traffic, the destruction of recreational 
facilities and other impacts too numerous to mention. 



Review of Historical Data 

In examining the historical causes, frequency and locations of pipeline incidents, 
we were able to determine that during the period between 1971 to 1986, the majority of 
pipeline failures were a result of outside forces (e.g., excavation) and the second leading 
cause appecired to be from pipeline corrosion. The cause of the Sugarland Run incident 
however, is still under investigation. Based upon initial physical evidence. Colonial feels 
that the rupture was caused by outside damage to the pipe. The damaged section of 
pipe has been sent to a National Transportation Safety Board lab for analysis. 

During this same time period (1971-1986) there was actually a decline in the 
number of pipeline incidents. Further review also revealed that these types of pipeline 
failures were infrequent and that, statistically, pipeline trarisport of liquids was still the 
safest mode of transport, especially when compared to highway and rail. In discussing 
Colonial's previous pipeline safety record, Virginia state officials noted that there had 
been four sigruficant incidents in Virginia since 1985. Maryland officials stated that 
Colonial was, in several areas, exceeding requirements of current federal regulations and 
that Colonial's safety record is good. It is obvious, at least from an economic point of 
view, that it is in the best interest of Colonial or any other pipeline operator to maintain 
a good performance and safety record. Poor performance would make it very difficult 
for pipeline operators to continue to attract investors and obtain optimal loan rates. In 



354 



addition, poor performance would result in lost revenue as a result of down time and 
costs associated with environmental and civil dcimages. 



CCX>'s Review of Local, State, and Federal Laws and Regulation 

Another important element of our investigation included a review of all loccd, 
state and federal laws and regulations which govern or influence pipeline transportation 
of liquid petroleum products. We were particularly interested in the adequacy of such 
regulations to prevent and /or minimize the re-occurrence of similar incidents. We 
found that current federal regulations are centered around 49 CFR, Part 195, which 
generally addresses safety but not environmental protection. These regulations cover 
three primary areas: testing and inspection, design and construction and operator 
reporting. 

The current regulations reflect the mandates of the 1968 Transportation of 
Explosives Act, as well as the 1979 Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Safety Act, but do not 
cover construction in the vicinity of the pipelines nor their siting. Under the 1992 
Pipeline Safety Act, which revised the Act of 1979, a number of new key mandates have 
been added. Specifically, the 1992 Act recognizes the need to include: the protection of 
the environment, increased inspections and inspectors, increased civil penalties, review 
of circumstances under which additional emergency flow restriction devices (remote 
val ves/ check vtilves) would be used and a one call notification system {e.g., Ms. Utility). 
Many of the new mandates will aide in our ability to prevent and minimize future 
incidents, but, apparently, because of the lack of adequate federal resources many of 
these positive changes may not be implemented. 

State and local authority to manage and regulate pipelines is somewhat limited, 
although it can be expanded upon and improved. While states are encouraged to seek 
and obtciin special regulatory and management authority for pipeline trcmsportation of 
hazcirdous liquids from the Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety 
(DOT/OPS), only a few have chosen to do so. In the case of Virginia and Maryland, 
only Marylcmd is a full participant in intrastate pipeline transport. Neither state has nor 
is currently seeking interstate special authority. Local governments, who are the ones 
most directly impacted by pipeline tremsport and the incidents which might occur, can 
exert more authority through land use controls such as zoning and subdivision 
ordinances amd comprehensive plans. They also have police powers to protect jmd 
improve public health and safety. Through these tools locjil governments can better 
irrsure that pipeline right-of-ways are protected and that future pipeline fcdlures emd 
associated safety and environmental impacts are minimized through coordinated 
emergency response. 



355 

5 

COG's Recommendations for a Strong Response 

Based on our review jind assessment I would like to strongly recommend that the 
following points and actions be taken into consideration and incorporated into any 
revisions which may result from this special investigation. Please note that there are a 
number of proposed actions that would have to be carried out in coordination with COG 
member local governments. Our points are as follows: 

Federal Action Required 

1. We recommend that the Executive Branch and the Congress must ensure 
that those mandates found within the 1992 Pipeline Safety act be fully 
enacted through rulemaking procedures and where applicable that 
adequate federal resources are made available to accomplish those 
requirements. Specific mandates that need to be addressed include: 

increased inspection requirements; 

identification of environmentally sensitive /high density areas; * 

increased civil penalties; 

additional emergency flow restriction devices; 

hiring of additional federal inspectors; (Under the 1992 Pipeline 
Safety Act additional inspectors are to be hired, but because there 
has been no additional appropriation, no additional inspectors have 
been hired; * 

increased operator training /certification. * 

• (Federal resources and action needed) 

2. We urge that incentives be created to encourage states to take a more 
active role in intra- and interstate pipeline regulation and management. 

Federal/State/Regional/Local Coordination and Action Required 

3. We recommend that a comprehensive regional and national monitoring 
program of pipeline systems be developed using geographical information 
system technology. 



356 



We recommend a critical review based on procedures and conditions to be 
developed be required before repaired pipelines can be reopened and 
should be a very high priority. This review should include an cissessment 
of the appropriate role of local authorities in this decision. 

We recommend the review and development of a petroleum spill model 
to assist impacted jurisdictions in planning cind coping with future oil 
spills. 

We recommend there be greater public education and awareness among 
local, state, and federal governments; citizens; and pipeline operators 
relative to pif)eline locations, safety, emergency response and operations. 



Local/Regional Coordination and Action Required 

7. We recommend the review of regioneil notification systems, resources and 
agreements. Such a review should include a meeting of MWCOG, regional 
water utilities, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin's 
Cooperative Water Supply On the Potomac (CO-OP) Committee, and 
regional emergency response personnel to discuss modifications to the 
region's Water Supply Emergency Agreement 

8. We recommend that in cooperation with local governments a review and 
assessment of current local land planning, zoning, building permits and 
subdivision ordinances be carried out to determine their adequacy to 
address pipeline safety and operation {e.g., setbacks, pipeline operator 
review and approval of subdivisions and site plans). 

9. We recommend periodic review of contingency clean-up plans to insure 
that environmental protection be considered as well ais Scifety. 

Mr. Chairman, members of the Subcommittee, that concludes my remarks. I 
would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you agciin for cillowing the 
Metropolitcm Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors to speak on this 
issue of importance and concern to the metropolitan Washington region. The 
Metropolitan W£ishington Council of Governments, its seventeen member local 
government jurisdictions, and its 3.8 million inhabitants are genuinely concerned about 
pipeline safety, operations and memagement. We are committed to the continued 
improvement of ctll aspects of pipeline memagement and operations and seek to 
minimize impacts to the citizens of our region as well as the nation through increased 
coordinated local, state and federal efforts. Thank you. 



357 

KMPR 

ASSOCIATES INC. 



ENGINEERS 



May 24, 1993 



Ms. Linda Komes 

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

Committee on Public Works and Transportation 

H2-586 Ford HOB 

Washington, DC 20515-6259 

Subject: Colonial Pipeline Hearing of May 18, 1993 

Dear Ms. Komes 

We would like to submit the attached report and statement for the record to be included 
in the Committee's report on the hearing of The Colonial Pipeline Rupture which was 
held on May 18, 1993. 

It is our understanding that statements were made at the hearing by the President of 
Colonial Pipeline, Mr. Donald R. Brinkley, indicating that the ultrasonic flow meter 
technologies to detect pipeline leaks do not work effectively and are not capable of 
detecting leaks. This is not a correct picture of the capability of this type of equipment. 

Ultrasonic flow measurement systems have been installed on the Trans Alaskan Pipeline 
and Alyeska has conducted rigorous calibration and performance tests on these meters. 
Attached is a 1992 ASME paper written by Alyeska on recent tests that they conducted 
on their leading edge ultrasonic flowmeters. The results from these tests indicate that 
the absolute accuracy of the meter was .157% for flow rate, and even more important 
from a leak detection standpoint, was that the standard deviation of the total flow 
between two ultrasonic meters was .019%. This .019% means that leakage rates greater 
than 4.18 gallons per minute (gpm) can be detected in a 36" pipe carrying 22,000 gpm of 
product. The significance of this is that such a metering system can detect low levels of 
leakage from the initial stages of a crack (i.e., while the crack is small and leakage is still 
in the 10 to 40 gpm range). Thus, this system has a reasonable chance of detecting that 
leakage and allowing time for corrective action before the crack reaches the "critical 
crack size" and the line grossly ruptures where leakage rates are in the thousands of gpm. 

I believe the attached Alyeska paper speaks for itself and presents a very different 
picture from that presented by Colonial Pipeline. Accordingly, I request that this letter 
and the attached article be made a part of the record of the May 18, 1993 hearing. If 

320 KING STREET ALEXANDRIA. VA 22314-3238 703-519-0200 FAX: 703-519-022d 



358 



Ms. linda Koines • 2 - May 24, 1993 

you have any questions regarding the measurement technology, track record or its ability 
to detect pipeline leaks prior to the "critical crack size" being reached and the resultant 
catastrophic failure, please do not hesitate to contact us. 



Sincerely, 



Honorable Leslie L. Byrne 
Honorable Thomas M. Davis, III 
Honorable Frank R. Wolf 




4oman M. Cole 



359 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 
345 E. 47 SU N«w YorK N.Y. 10017 

Tha SocMy ■hall not b* rMponslbM tor sltfanwnti or opinions KtvmcMl In pap«r« or m d's- 
cuBsMn « mMf lr>es of th* SocWy or ot lit OM«ions or SaetKxtt. or prtnitd tfi tM publlcalkons. 
DiKuwlon ts prlntod only M tTM papor Is publlshod In an ASME Journal. Papors ara avallabl* 
from ASME tor fitiMn months attar tha mMtine 
PrtntKtinUSA 



92-GT-426 



State of the Art of Ultrasonic Liquid Flow Measurement 

and it's Impact on Automated Leak Detection 

in Pipelines 



MICHAEL L. SMULSKI 

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company 
Eagle River, Alaska 99577 



Abstract: 

The state of the art of ultrasonic liquid flow 



surement has improved greatly in the past 
aHe " to wTTefe this technology exhibits 



accuracy equivalent 
while retaining seve 



:o turbine meter 
:al advantages o 



Testing 
for lea 


1 of a 
ik det< 


four 

!CtiO 


path noi 

n on the 


l-il 
Tri 


itri 


jsive mi 
-Alaska 


iter I 
Pipe] 


ised 
.ine 


is disc 


lussed 


. Per 


formance 


is 


del 


:ailed, 


and 




future 


apDlit 


:atio 


ns for u 


It-ri 




Tic flow 





Introduction : 

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline stretches 800 miles 
North to South across Alaska, from the Prudhoe 
Bay oil fields on the Arctic Ocean to the year 
round port of Valdez on Prince William Sound. 
For comparison, it is a little over 600 miles 
from New York to Nashville. There are no direct 
flights from Prudhoe Bay to Valdei, but if 
there were it would take over two hours in a 
737 to cover the distance. The terrain is some 
of the most strikingly beautiful in the world, 
and at the same time some of the most difficult 
for construction and maintenance. 

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is operated 
and maintained by the Alyeska Pipeline Service 
Company, 1835 South Bragaw Street, Anchorage 
Alaska, 99512. The author has been employed by 
Alyeska as an engineer since January of 1983, 
and has been involved in ultrasonic flow 
metering as it relates to leak detection for a 
large portion of that time. 



are essentially at sea level. Three major 
mountain ranges are crossed, with a maximum 
elevation of 4,739 feet at milepost 166.6, 
Atigun Pass. Ambient temperatures along the 
route range from +95 degrees Fahrenheit in 
summer to -80 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. 

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is capable of 
transporting over two million barrels of oil a 
day, and accounts for about 25 * of the United 
State ' s domestic supply. The Pipeline has been 
in virtually continuous operation since first 
oil into Valdez on July 28, 1977, with down 
time limited to a few maintenance days. 

One result of Alaska's severe climatic extremes 
is a sensitive ecosystem, requiring long 
periods of time to recover from environmental 
damage. Alaska's unique combination of climatic 
extremes, difficult terrain, and lack of a road 
system makes cleanup of oil spills difficult 
and expensive . Because of Alyeska's sincere 
commitment to maintaining the pristine Alaska 
environment, Alyeska has developed a computer 
based automatic leak detection system which is 
among the most sensitive in the world. 



There are many methods of automatic leak 
detection, each having it's own strong points 
and limitations. Optimum system configuration 
is dependent upon parameters such as pipeline 
terrain, length, diameter, wall thickness, 
insulation, below/above grade, f luid (s) , flow 
rate, direction of flow, pressures. Pump 



of 48 inches, 
above ana belc 
Prudhoe Bay (n 



and is equally divided between 
w ground construction. Both 
ile zero) and Valdez (mile 800) 



a and Amvm%ffirm Cortofwa anO Exposition 



360 



Station locations* ambient conditions, 
maintenance considerations, sensor locations 
available SCADA data links, instrumentation 
location and accuracy, regulatory requiremen 
available computing hardware, software, and 
available software maintenance personnel. 

Thus there is no single best leak detection 
system for all pipelines, despite claims to the 
contrary from those vendors promoting their _ 
particular system. Alyeska utilizes four 
different methods of con^uter based leak 
detection. The most sensitive periodically 
calculates the apparent gain or loss of oil 
from the entire 800 miles internal volume of 
the pipeline since the last calculation. . 
Temperature and pressure effects upon the pipe w^- 
geometry and the oil specific gravity are taken'^ 
into account, as is Reynolds number and slack 
line. Statistical data processing methods are 
then used on the calculated gain/loss values to 
determine a predicted leak threshold, and to 
determine if a leak over this threshold exists. 
Student's T Distribution for 99 percent 
certainty is used in the threshold 
calculations. 



control system is required to pass pigs though 
the meters. Another advantage of upgrading the 
existing LEFMs is that the transducers are 
already in place and in good condition, so that 
only the electronics portion would require 
replacement, taking advantage of the modern 



ion processing technology. 

In early 1990 upgraded LEFM electronics became 
available but were unproven in the necessary 
size. These units combined improved pulse 
transmit/receive circuitry with an IBM AT clon 
processor; the old LEFMs used seven boards of 
wire wrapped TTL logic chips to form the 



Since the most ser 


isltive system depends on the 


time inteqral of c 


:orrected mass flow, it is 


critical that the 


most accurate flou meterina 



and flow totalizing be used. Presently the 
system depends primarily upon custody transfer 
turbine meters at Prudhoe Bay which meter 
inputs from the North Slope producers, and 
custody transfer meters at Valdez which meter 
incoming oil at the terminal. As mentioned 
previously, the volume balance is done on the 
entire 800 miles of pipe. 

Alyeska has 12 pumping stations along the 800 
miles route. Ten of the stations pump oil; 
stations 5 and 11 are flow through only and 
contain no pumps. 



Each pump static 


>n has a four path i 


ion-intrusive 


ultrasonic flow 


meter installed at 


both the 



Sys 



and discharge of the station. Thes 
ers were purchased from Westinghouse Marine 
tems Division in the mid 1970's. This 
ision produced sonar systems for the United 
States Navy including towed sonar arrays and 
both active and passive sonars for OSN 
submarines; thus the technology used was state 
of the art for that time period. These meters 
are called Leading Edge Flow Meters, or 



LEFMs ■ 



In order to improve leak detection, it would be 
advantageous to perform the volume balance 
between stations rather than over the entire 
800 miles of pipe. This would divide the pipe 
into 12 segments and reduce inaccuracies due to 
slack line. (Slack line is a flow phenomena 
observed on the down hill side of mountain 
ranges which are steep enough that the pipe is 
not full.) 



Sine 



Alyeska has a comprehensive progr 



-Of 



using both magnetic and 
n/deformation pigs, the LEFM 



permitting the 



A repeatability requirement of 0-15 % mass flow ^ 
over the pressure range to 1500 psi and the 
(oil) temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees F. 
was established. Calibration would be allowed 
once per year, as opposed to turbine meters 
which are proved daily and calibrated quarterly 
or whenever accuracy falls below 0.15 %. 

Since the required accuracy is pushing the 

limits of the state of the art, it was decided ^ 

to test the new LEFMs at a single pump station 



to purcha 



Thi 



as done 



Pump 



11 which has both suction and discharge 
flow meters but no pumps or relief (storage) 
tanks. Thus a direct determination of 
repeatability could be made by comparing the 
suction and discharge flow meters over an 
extensive time period. This paper describes the 
test and the results . 



nd. 



Ultrasonic Flowmeteriny Backgrou 

Dopplar vs. Transit Tima: 

There are two primary physical methods of 
ultrasonic flow metering: Doppler and transit 
time. Piezoelectric crystals are used as both 
transmitters and receivers in most cases. 

The Doppler concept works by projecting a sonic 
pulse train into the m.oving fluid and measuring 
the frequency shift of the return. This is a 
familiar effect best exhibited in the change in 
pitch of a train whistle as the train passes 
the stationary observer. The fluid must contain 
some discontinuity such as air bubbles, sand or 
dirt to reflect the sonic beam. Clean fluid 
will usually not work with Doppler meters. 

Another disadvantage of Doppler meters is 
uncertainty as to from where within the 
velocity profile the beam is being reflected. 
The velocity vector profile is radically 
different between laminar and turbulent flow, 
and can be non symmetrical downstream of bends 
or imperfections. Typical attainable accuracy 
with these meters is about +/- 5 %, but they 
are non intrusive and will work in dirty fluid 
where a transit time meter will not. 



passage of pigs. No expensive piping network or 



361 



The transit time meter works by projecting a 
sonic pulse at an angle other than 
perpendicular to the direction of flow, across 
the largest pipe diameter. The time from 
transmitting on one side of the pipe to 
receiving on the other side is called transi t 
time and is proportional to the speed of sound 
in the fluid and the increase or decrease in 
velocity due to fluid movement . Typical orders 
of magnitude are 1400 meters per second speed 
of sound in crude oil, and 3 meters per second 
oil flow velocity. 

First a pulse is projected upstream, then 
downstream. The transit time is measured and 
the difference between the upstream and 
downstream time determined by subtraction. The 
result is a time period equal to twice the 
change in time due to fluid flow. 

Since the beam passes through the fluid at an 
established pipe chord, a velocity profile must 
be assumed. This limits the typical accuracy of 
single path flow meters to about +/- 3 %, 
although better results have been obtained by 
calibrating at a particular flow rate. 

The next step toward greater accuracy is to 
increase the number of beams in order to 
somehow determine the velocity profile. The 
industry has developed two methods for doing 
this. The first method is to use multiple 
parallel beams and a method of numerical 
integration called Gaussian quadrature 
integration. By determining the flow velocity 
at several points, the velocity profile can be 
determined quite accurately. The LEFMs use the 
multiple beam (four path) system. 

The second method is to use two beams at right 
angles to each other, with each beam reflected 
back. This has the advantage of eliminating 
errors due to cross flow, or eddies. This is a 
newer method and less is known about it. It was 
not tested because the four path LEFM 
transducers were already in place, making that 
concept more attractive financially. 



Clamp 



Intrusiv: 



One of 


the 


big 


adva 


ntaqes 


of ult: 




Ic 


flc 




meters 


is 


that 


most 


of the 


m are non-i 


ntr 


■VI si 




when me 


asu 


rinq 


liqu 


id flow 


. This 


permits 
saqe of 






install 


ati 


on, and a 
and clea' 


Hows t 


he pas: 




inspect 


ninq de 


vices. 









An ultrasonic meter can be installed to measure 
liquid flow in a process without shutting the 
process down; an Intrusive meter (orifice 
plate, turbine meter, elbow tap, etc.) requires 
a shutdown to install the transducers. 

As with most technical equipment, however, 
there are real world complications. In actual 
installations the advantages of non-intrusive 
flow meters become less dramatic when high 
performance is desired. For example, the four 
path chordal meter used for this test in Indeed 
non-intrusive, permitting easy pig passage. It 
is not a clamp on, however, due to the 
necessity to precisely locate the four beams 



relative to each other and relative to the pipe 
geometry. An expensive spool piece is necessary 
to maintain the precise beam spacing, 
consistent pipe roundness, and precise inner 
diameter required. Four path systems can still 
be installed at a fraction of the cost of 
turbine meters, however. 

The next quantum step for four path flow meters 
would therefore be clamp on transducers to 
reduce the cost. 

0»BcrlptloD of Caldon Four p«th 
Dltr«senle rlowaater. 

Principles of Oparatlon: 



The 


Caldon 


four 


path u 


Itrasc 


>nic flow mei 


ter 


uses 


a p. 


recisior 


1 fabi 


ricated 


spool 


. piece with 


wetted 


trki 


isducers 


; installed 


in Ins 


itrument bos: 


ses 


at 



photos of the electronics and the spool piece. 

To determine corrected mass flow the fluid 
velocity is measured along each of the four 
paths using the transit time technique. The 
velocity profile is determined, and mass flow 
is calculated. Corrections are then added for 
temperature and pressure effects upon oil 
density and spool piece geometry. 




ncURE 1: LEFM MODEL «300 AND MTTEKING SECTION 



362 



CONTROL t DISPLAY 




FIGURE 2: LEFM MODEL 8300 ELECTRONICS CABINET, FRONT VIEW 



363 



Maaauricg Transit Tlaa: 

A pair of transducers sends ultrasonic (500 
khi) pulses to one another along a measurement 
path at an angle to the flow. The transit time 
depends on both the speed of sound in the fluid 
and the flow velocity of the fluid along the 
path. Transit time is shorter for pulses 
'travelling downstream with the flow: 

Td - I'p'"^*^?' 
Transit time is longer for pulses travelling 
upstream against the flow: 



Tu 



L„/ (C-V ) 



T^ - downstream transit time 
T - upstream transit time 
L - path length 
C ■ speed of sound in fluid 

V - flow velocity along ultrasonic 
path 

V - flow velocity along pipe axis - 

V CosB 

When pulses travel upstream and downstream at 
approximately the same time the above equations 
may be treated as simultaneous, and solved for 
two unknowns, C and v Solving for V and 
taking into account the path angle 0: 

V- (Lp(T„-Tj))/(2TjTyCos0I 

Using this method, the velocity measurement V 
is independent of the speed of sound C, which 
varies as a function of temperature, pressure, 
density, and other parameters. 




Calealating Gcosa Flow Rata: 

The LEFM uses four pairs of transducers to 
measure flow velocities along four paths. Very 
specific transducer spacings are required, as 
shown In figure 3. The transducer assembly is 
shown in figure 4. The ultrasonic path velocity 
measurements are combined using the Gaussian 
Quadrature technique to obtain gross volume 
measurement : 



- DS(Mi(lTVp>i<tanai)+w2(lTVp)2<t«n02)* 

*W3 "t^p' 3 """"s' *W4 "t^p' 4 "•""4 ' I 

where; 

Q > volume flowrate 

D •■ inside pipe diameter 

S - Gaussian correction factor 

H^ - Gaussian weighting factors 

'■pin) " P*'^'' lengths 

^p(n) " '^°'' velocity along ultrasonic 
paths 



0„ 



path angles 



During installation precision measurements of 
inside diameter, path lengths, and path angles 
are taken and inserted into the equation for 
gross volume flow rate. These values and the 
Gaussian constants are used to calibrate the 
Caldon LEFH 8300. 

Transducer inputs are used to automatically 
compensate for spool piece expansion and 
contraction due to changes in temperature and 
pressure. 

Net volume flowrate is then calculated by 
correcting the gross volume flowrate to 
standard oil conditions at 60 degrees F. and 
psig. Temperature and specific gravity 
correction factors are used from API Standard 
2S40 table 6a,- pressure correction factors from 
API Standard 11.2.1 are used. 



Vactor Diagram of Trandt Tim* HaKuramanl 



364 



.•»■ DU 




TMJISOOCZB «3SZa lUMOVKO. 



FIGURE 3: LEFM TRANSDUCER SPAaNQ. 




FIGURE 4: LEFM TRANSDUCER ASSEMBLY DETAILS. 



365 



Software Dascription: 

The LEFM 8300 aoftwa re is an example of Object 
Oriented Programming, allowing for changing and 
debugging from a single point in the source 
code. The bulk of the code is written in C++, 
with assembler code for the high speed low 
level interfaces between the CPU and AFU and 
also for the high speed DMA Graphics routines . 

The object oriented software allows simple 
implementation of multiple configurations, and 
allows for for customization for individual 
application needs. Custom outputs, inputs, and 
data presentation windows can be configured for 
other applications. 

Functional windows are used to display discrete 
sets of data such as diagnostic, set-up, or 
operational parameters. Each of these windows 
may be selected by the operator by means of 
"soft-keys" displayed in a definition box on 
each screen. 

Taat Deacrlption: 



The falfinn Mnrto 1 mn p flow mete r electronics 
was installed at both the suction and discharge 
sides of Pump Station 11 of the Trans-Alaska 
Pipeline, using the existing spool pieces. Pump 
Station 11 is located at Glenallen, Alaska at 
pipeline milepost 686, about 1500 feet above 
sea level. The terrain is not mountainous from 
Pump Station 10 to Pump Station 11; hence, 
there is no slack line between the two stations 
at present flow rates. The Valdez Terminal is 
114 miles South of Pump Station 11, over 
Thompson Pass. 

Crude oil temperature at Pump Station 11 is 
about 110 degrees F., and pressure is about 600 
psig. Flow rates are slightly over 76,000 
barrels per hour . There are no pumps at PS 11. 

■ rt 51 oooo«a/„ 

■t of the design 



part 



test (DVT) called out 



atio 



The purpos 



the purchase 



rif ieation 



to determine the 

repeatability and absolute accuracy of the 
instrument, and to wring out those problems 
which inevitably show up when the first 
prototype is fielded. The DVT specified that 



data would be taken for 30 days. Three major 
comparisons were to be made! — 



a) Comparison of Pump Station 11 suction flow 
with Pump Station 11 discharge flow: since 
independent spool pieces and electronics were 
used for suction and discharge, this would be a 
good measure of the repeatability of the flow 
meter. The acceptance criteria was that the 
standard deviation of the error between suction 
and discharge flow rates be not greater than 
+/- 0.167 % over the entire range of oil 
temperatures and pressures. The temperature and 
pressure compensation was done by lookup tables 
using API Standard 2540 table 6a, and API 
Standard 11.2.1. This section of the computer 



had been previously tested at the factory and 
found to introduce essentially no error. 
Therefore, the entire error margin of +/- 0.167 
% was used as the pass/fail criteria for this 
test, even though the suction and discharge 
pressures and temperatures were not exercised 
over their entire range. 

b) Comparison of Pump Station 11 LEFM suction 
totalizer with Pump Station 11 LEFM discharge 
totalizer; pass/fail criteria was the same as 
in item a) above. Flow total is the time 
integral of flow rate, so any offset error 
between suction and discharge should become 
evident over the thirty day test period. 

c) Comparison of the average flow total 
passing through Pump Station 11. with the flow 
received at Valdez over the 30 day period. This 
gives an approximation of absolute accuracy, 
since the LEFMs are being compared with the 
custody transfer turbine meters at Valdez 
incoming. At 10 miles per hour It takes about 
11 hours for the oil 



11 to Valdez, 


which ini 




short term If 


flow Is 1 




was taken for 


30 days. 




The pass/fail 


crltpria 


fnr thfs ^o^^ u,a= */- 



0.250 %. 



Pump Station 11 data was recorded locally using 
the on board data logger resident in the Caldon 
model 8300 flow meter . Data for Pump Station 
11, Pump Station 12, and Valdez Incoming was 
recorded at Valdez using the Data General 
MV10,000 SCADA computer. A comparison could 
then be made between data recorded at Pump 
Station 11 and Pump Station 11 data recorded at 
OCC, to verify the accuracy of the SCADA data 
link. 

Another goal of the test program was to wring 
out all the "bugs" including the man/machine 
Interface, on board data logger, output update 
rate, power supply fallover characteristics, dc 
and ac operation, changing of set points and 
parameters, compatibility of the multiplexed 
BCD output with the Square D PLC communication 
device, on board diagnostics. Internal timing 
problems between the processor and the flow 
meter, software glitches, physical layout of 
parts and controls, software modification 
procedures, documentation format and control, 
security of access to software and set points, 
and any other deficiencies which may become 
evident during this test. 

Data w as recorded every 15 minutes for 30 dav?; 
at Pump Station 11 using the Ca ldon on board 
data logger. There were some software and 
operational problems which prevented the data 
from running an unbroken 30 days, but 30 full 
days of data was collected. 

The data was recorded in MS-DOS format by the 
Caldon 8300 . It was then read into a Lotus 



spread sheet program, translated into Excel, 
and processed on a Macintosh Ilsi. The 
following parameters were recorded at Pump 
Station 11. An example page of data Is shown as 
figure 5. 



366 



il 



367 



Siirr Inn: 

Dace 
Time 

Pressure, psig 
Temperature, deg. F. 
Flow rate, bbls/hr. 

(resolution 1 bbl/hr.) 
Flow total, bbls. 

(resolution 1 bbl) 

Perforaapce Results 



The standard deviation of the difference 
between the suction and discharge flow rate 
taken every fifteen minutes was 0.157 % over 
the entire 30 day period. 



rn<;rharae: 

Date 
Time 

Pressure, psig 
Temperature, deg. F. 
Flow rate, bbls/hr. 
(resolution 1 bbl/hr.) 
Flow total, bbls. 
Resolution 1 bbl) 



The 



standard deviation of the differ 



SfcJ/ 



the entire 30 day period. If 

Meter factors were calculated by the OCC in 
Valdez for Pump Station 11 over the 30 day 
test. These factors would normally be 
programmed into the Pump Station 11 flow meters 
to malce them agree with the turbine meters at 
Valdez; however, during this test both the 
suction and discharge meter factors were left 
at 1.00000 so that the error between Valdez and 
Pump Station 11 could be quantified. The 
suction meter factor remained constant within 
0.10 % and the discharge meter within 0.06 %. 

Conclusions : 



performance 


specified a 


results wei 


point, all 


satisfied. 



The Caldon Model 8300 LEFM met the performance 

requirements of the DVT under actual field 

conditions, within Alyeska's ability to measure 
Although the requirements were 
a percentage of full scale and the 
ere presented as a percentage of 

curacy requirements were 11 



Future Applications of Ultrasonic Flow 
metering . 

Aircraft fuel metering, hydraulics 
performance : 

The Controlotron Co., 155 Plant Avenue, 
Hauppauge New York, 11768, manufactures a line 
of ultrasonic flow meters. Although 
Controlotron was not chosen for the LEFM 
upgrade program, Alyeska is successfully using 
single path Controlotron flow meters to control 
23 remote check valves. 

Controlotron has established a reputation as an 
industry leader with respect to new and 
innovative applications, and is the only known 
vendor working in the aerospace areas of 
aircraft fuel and hydraulic fluid measurement. 
Integrated leak detection system qsing 
on-bo«rd IBM AT processor: 

The fact that the LEFM is an accurate flow 
meter and contains an IBM AT clone processor 
makes it an excellent candidate for an 



integrated leak detection system. Leak 
detection algorithms could be programmed into 
the flow meter, just as are programmed into the 
Data General MV10,000 SCADA computer by 
Alyeska. An added advantage in doing the 
computations at the monitored site is that real 
time, accurate data would be used. This 
eliminates SCADA errors and delays in data 
transmission. 

There are four or five firms specializing in 
leak detection and pipeline simulation 
softwar e. The flow meter vendors also have 
programmers on their staff due to the nature of 
their product. It is doubtful that the software 
firms could develop a flow meter of the 
required performance, but it is quite likely 
that the flow meter vendors could develop all 
but the most sophisticated leak detection 
software. It therefore appears that the flow 
meter vendors have the advantage as this 



technology 
working agr 



technology 
buyouts being possible. 



Regulatory Trends: Internal Ins pection , 
Leak Detection. 



Federal and State Legislative bodies are 
currently studying tech nology with the intent 
of regulating pipelines. Proposed legislation 
seems to be falling into two areas; ipterr\g l 



inspecti 



eq^^ 



e^ui 



Ult 



nd leak detection 



flc 



eters may offer 



both areas . 



Internal inspection is best accomplished with 
s mart pigs using ultrasonic, magnetic, and 
inert ial technology . These pigs are propelled 
through the pipeline by the oil flow. 
Ultrasonic flow meters can oass these devices 

through directly, eliminati ng the valvp*:, 

launchers/ receivers, pnd control systems 
needed to pass pigs through intrusive flow 



In til 


le field 


of 1 


ealc detection ultrasoi 


lie flow 


meter 


■s offer 


acct 


iracy similar to turbine meters 


at a 


fractioi 


1 9f 




into __ 


accoL 


int the ! 


:ost 


of the four path spool piece. 



Acknowladgttmants ; 

1) "(Dperatlng Manual, LEFM Model 8300 Flow 
Measurement System", printed November 1990 by 
Caldon Inc., 2 857 Banltsville Road, Pittsburgh, 
Pa., ISili. 

2) C. Hartman and P. Johnson, "Environmental 
Atlas of Rlas)ca", Copyright 1984 by the 
University of Alas)ca, Fairban)cs, Alaska. 

3) Purchase Specification No. APSC 70-70, 
"Four-Path Ultrasonic Flowmeter — Electronics 
Only", Alyes)ca Pipeline Service Company, 1835 
South Bragaw Street, Anchorage, Alaslca. 99512. 

4) LEFM Model 8300 Service Manual IB 102-1190, 
printed Nov. 1990 by Caldon Inc., 2857 
Ban)csville Road, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15216. 



368 



E. A. Jonas, P.E. 

CONSULTINO METALLIXROICAL ENGINEER 

P.O. BOX 1428 

BETHUBHEM. PA. 18016 

PHONE A PAX 815 865-3300 



June 4,1993 

Mr. J. A. Cox 
Colonial Pipeline Co. 
Resurgens Plaza 
945 East Paces Ferry Rd 
Atlanta GA 30326 1125 

Dear Mr Cox: 

I am in receipt of your letter of June 1,1993 and the 
accompanying photograph. This photograph shows a girth weld 
and associated FBE and concrete coating cut back. Although 
the size, grade and wall thickness of the pipe cannot be 
determined from the photograph, it is certainly accurate to 
state that the pipe in question is submerged-arc welded. 

The "longitudinal indication" to which you refer in your 
letter is, in my opinion, the weld reinforcement of the 
longitudinal seam used to manufacture this pipe, in 
accordance with API 5L. As such, it is a normal condition, 
incident to the production of this size, wall and grade of 
pipe. 

Should you require further assistance in this matter please 
call upon me. 



Yours 




onas, P.E. 



369 




Kiefner & Associates, Inc. 



June 7, 1993 



Mr. J. A. Cox 

Manager, Technical and Regulatory 

Colonial Pipeline Company 

P.O. Box 18855 

Atlanta, Georgia 30326-0855 

Dear Jin: 

I have reviewed the picture which you sent on June 1, 1993 of 
Colonial's 36-inch pipeline located in Virginia tzOcen 'during 
construction in 1980. The photograph shows a recently made girth 
weld in the "cut-back" area of both the red, fusion-bonded epoxy 
anti-corrosion coating and thick, concrete-weight coating of the 
two lengths of pipe joined by the girth weld. The picture was 
taken prior to the final coating of the cut-back region. 

Your letter requests that I identify, as best I can, the 
longitudinally oriented feature that appears in the center of the 
photograph between the concrete-weight coating and the girth 
weld, ending abruptly at the girth weld. This feature is the 
crown of the submerged-arc-welded seam of the length of pipe to 
the left of the girth weld. 

Please call me if you have any questions. 

Sincerely, 




JFK.-gw 



P.O. Box 268 Worthington. Ohio 43085 Phone (6l4) 888-8220 

893 High St.. Suite L FAX (6l4) 888-7323 



370 



Fairfax County Water Authority 

8560 ARLINGTON BOULEVARD - P.O. BOX 1500 
MERRIFIELD, VIRGINIA 22116-0815 



FRED C. MoRiN, Chairman 
Harry F. Day, Vice-chairman 
David G. Russell, secy.-Tres. 
Bill G. Evans 
Burton J. Rubin 
Paul andino 
connie houston 
Philip W. Allin 
Pamela b. Danner 
Charles D. Hylton, III 



May 14, 1993 



Floyd f. Eunpu 

engineer-Director 

Telephone (703) 698-5600 Ext. 400 



telephone (703) 698-S600 EXT. 402 
FACSIMILE (703) 698-17S9 



The Honorable Robert Borski 

Chainnan, Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight 

U.S. House of Representatives 

2161 Raybum House Office Building 

Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Congressman Borski: 

The Water Authority is the largest supplier of water in Virginia— serving 
approximately one million northern Virginians. Many of our customers are members of the 
U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. 

In late March the Potomac River, one of our major sources of water, and a treasured 
natural resource for the national capital area... was contaminated with heating oil as a result 
of a ruptured interstate oil pipeline. The pipeline, owned by the Colonial Pipeline Company, 
passes through thousands of communities from Texas to New Jersey, and is only one of 
several oil pipelines which traverse our country. The break which occurred in this oil 
pipeline in March occurred in Fairfax County, Virginia. The oil spilled into a local creek 
and within hours entered the Potomac River. The oil hugged the Virginia shoreline and 
forced the closing of the Water Authority's largest water purification plant. For a total of 18 
days, 1 1 consecutive days, we were forced to operate using another source of water, the 
Occoquan Reservoir, and our customers were requested to curtail water use. Despite the 
serious threat to our operations we were able to endure this disaster without running out of 
water, however, our situation is unique. 

We are one of the few water suppliers in the nation, and the only one in the national 
capital area, which has an alternative source of supply of this magnitude. The consequences 
would have been devastating had this oil pipeline rupture occurred on the Maryland side of 
the Potomac River. Imagine our Federal City — Washington, D.C. — closed for half a month, 
along with the Maryland suburbs. Picture this scenario and you will see a severe and 
damaging economic impact with closed businesses and schools. The consequences would be 
unthinkable — the capital of the world's greatest nation shutdown by a ruptured oil products 
pipeline. 



371 



The Honorable Robert Borsid -2- May 14, 1993 



On April 29, 1993, the Fairfax County Water Authority hosted the ISth Annual 
Meeting of the signatories to the Potomac River Low Flow Allocation Agreement. A major 
topic of discussion was the recent oil spill referred to previously. After numerous questions 
and discussions it was the unanimous (pinion of all of the signatories (Maryland, District of 
Columbia, Virginia, Corps of Engineers, (Washington Aqueduct), Washington Suburban 
Sanitary Commission, and the Fairfax County Water Authority that the Interstate 
Commission on the Potomac River Basin would present our concerns to any regulatory 
govnnmental body that might address this issue. In particular, all parties were deq>ly 
concerned iu to the affect on our Nations Capital should a break of this nature occur on the 
Maryland side of the Potomac River. 

The Water Authority strongly endorses the recommendations proposed to the 
committee by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, namely: 

(1) verification of the physical integrity of interstate oil pipelines and the locations 
of valve installations, 

(2) state-of-the-art improvements to reduce the risks from existing pipelines, 
including retrofitting as necessary, and 

(3) comprehensive monitoring control and inspection reporting procedures. 

This year's incident has not been the first time the Water Authority's water supply 
has been direatened by an oil pipeline failure. In 1980 our Occoquan River supply was 
victimized. We live with the constant threat of having our water sources contaminated by 
aging and inadequate oil pipeline facilities. 

We appreciate the time that you have devoted to this extremely important issue. Our 
sta^ is available to answer any questions that you may have on this subject. 



Very trtily yours, 

Fred C. Morin 
Chairman 



Attachment - Distribution and Copies List 



372 



Distribution list 
Committee on Public Works and Transportation 



May 14, 1993 



The Honorable Norman Mineta 
The Honorable Robert Borski 
The Honorable Barbara Rose Collins 
The Honorable Robert Wise 
The Honorable Greg Laughlin 
The Honorable Lucien Blackwell 
The Honorable Leslie Byrne 
The Honorable James Baicia 
The Honorable Bob Filner 



The Honorable Eddie Bemice Johnson 
The Honorable James Inhofe 
The Honorable John Duncan 
The Honorable Susan Molinari 
The Honorable Bill Zeliff 
The Honorable Wayne Gilchrest 
The Honorable William Baker 
The Honorable Bud Shuster 



cc: Dr. S. Schwartz, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin 
Mr. F. Eunpu, Fairfax County Water Authority 

Mr. P. Costas, Washington Aqueduct Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
Mr. J. Corless, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission 
Mr. J. Peck, Maryland Department of Natural Resources 
Mr. R. Burton, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality 
Mr. G. Papadopolous, District of Columbia 
Col. J. R. Capka, Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps, of Engineers 



373 
H. Garon Stutzman 

May 24,1993 

Congressman Robert A. Borski 

Chairman 

Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee 

Raybum House Office Building 

Washington, DC. 20515 

Dear Congressman, 

I attended your hearing regarding the ruptured oil pipeline on May 18, 1993 

I appreciate Congressman Wolf including a few words on behalf of the subsurface utility 
engineering (SUE) profession. 

Enclosed, is my statement that I hope you will include in the official hearing documents. The time 
has come for the SUE profession The SUE profession locates and certifies the three- 
dimensional location of underground structures, such as utility lines, before the design of 
excavation projects. Doesn't it make sense that once an excavator has the location of an 
underground utility he is less likely to damage it? Did you know that traditionally the depths of 
underground utilities are not available to project engineers or excavators? Unfortunately, this is a 
story most people do not know and a story that the utility industry will not tell you The reason 
has to do with them not wanting to be responsible to provide detailed levels of data. 
Unfortunately, engineering tradition holds excavators responsible to locate utility lines at the time 
of excavation. Because of the new SUE profession, requiring excavators to locate during 
construction is unnecessary, dangerous, expensive and irresponsible The SUE profession 
specializes in locating and protecting utility lines before design of a project ~ not at time of 
excavation. The concept of SUE is simple — before an engineer designs a project requiring 
excavation, the engineer should know what structures are beneath the earth and where they are 
three dimensionally. 

It pleases me to iumish you my statement and I would be please to discuss this issue further with 
vour committee 



Sincerely, 



Gc 




HomeOffice: 7726 WycUaod Court, CUfton, Virginia 22024 Phone/Fax (703)830-0859 (C>U Before Faxing) 



374 




The Subsurface 

Utility Engineering 

Company 

8397 Euclid Avenue 
Manassas Park, 
Virginia 22111 

(703)361-6005 

Metro: 631-6967 

FAX: (703) 361 -7587 



Performing 

out-of-sight work... 

with vision!™ 



Statement For The Official Congressional 
Hearing Into The Ruptured Colonial Oil Pipeline 

May 24, 1993 

We heard sworn witnesses, plus Colonial Pipeline Company, state that "pipelines 
are the safest mode of transportation for petroleum and petroleum products" I 
agree and want to tell you about proven new technologies that will make pipeline 
transportation more safe while costing less money. 

We also heard sworn testimonies that "third party damages or diggins to pipelines 
are the number one cause of pipeline disruptions". I agree and want to tell you 
how these new technologies not only make pipelines a safer mode of 
transportation but also manage "third party damages and diggins" while costing 
less money. 

Many of these sworn witnesses, including Colonial Pipeline Company, went on to 
say that "local government agencies should become more involved in the 
regulation of development and construction around pipelines" I fully agree that 
local governmental agencies should become more involved The best way for 
government agencies to become involved in making pipelines a safer mode of 
transportation is to protect pipelines from third party damages and diggins by 
requiring three-dimensional certification of underground utilities before 
issuing excavation permits. 

Permit issuing agencies can add a simple check-off item to the plan review process 
ensuring that project owners have obtained certified, three-dimensional (horizontal 
and vertical) utility data before the issuance of an excavation permit or site plan. 
This simple step would handily address the issue of "third party damage" '(the 
number one cause of pipeline disruptions). 



'The common denominator in almost every underground utility damage can be 
traced to lack of reliable three-dimensional utility data" 



'In 1981 The County of Fairfax, Virginia and in 1984 the Virginia Department Of 
Transportation entered into a Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) program that requires a 
registered professional to certify the three-dimensional location of all underground utilities on 
public sector projects Since the beginning of these programs there has not been a case of a 
damaged utility line on any FF.Co or VDOT project VDOT and Fairfax County are lecogni^ed 
as the first and two of the l)est public agencies regarding SUE damage prevention priKedures 
Please note however, neither FF Co nor VDOT requires this level of engineering quality on 
pri\'ate sector projects for which they issue excavation permits. The private sector result during 
the same time has been thousands of damaged utility lines 



375 



Unta qualified professionals are required, by permit issuing agencies, to provide certified 
three-dimensional locations of underground utility lines, before excavation, there will 
continue to be catastrophic utility damages. 

Before the development of subsurface utility engineering (SUE) technologies' engineers designed 
excavation plans using uncertified, uninsured, two-dimensional (horizontal) utility information 
This information is available fi-om utility companies at no cost Utility records however are not 
three-dimensional nor are they certifiable The records used are so unreliable that utility 
companies and engineers add disclaimers to utility records that try to shift responsibility for utility 
locations to the contractor. As you might expect, the contractor is the least professionally 
competent person to locate, coordinate, survey and notify the project engineer and utility 
company if utility conflicts exist This is the primary reason for third party damages and diggins! 

No engineering or utility company anywhere in the nation can or will certify utility records. 

Shouldn't this tell us something about the prudence of issuing excavation permits for projects 
when excavation is based on utility records? Since lack of reliable utility data is the primary cause 
for third party damages and diggins it only stands to reason that providing excavator's quality, 
three-dimensional, underground utility data, before excavation, will reduce utility damages 

Sincerely, 



(^{^ -Ocrt-^ D U<^p^^*^<^' 



Garon Stutzman^ 



^I am the recognized founder of the SUE profession I was The 1990 Entrepreneur Of The Year® in the 
Washington DC area and I am a lifetime inductee into the "Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame" in 
Chapel Hill, N.C. Both of these recognition's was for my work in developing the SUE profession 
Additionally, I am Chairman of four companies' two of which specialize in providing SUE 
services. 

o 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 05983 365 5 



ISBN 0-16-041564-0 



9 780160"415647 



90000